It's a common situation: You are at a party, going out with friends or just met someone on the bus stop and start chatting. Small talk. What are you doing here? Nice / horrible weather today, isn't it? So, what do you do? Well, there it is. I find myself hesitating to answer this question. I guess many have, at least those, that write in science blogs. I work in experimental quantum physics and there is only so many witty comebacks to stunned silence, bewilderment or statements that they never got physics. But that's okay, it's clearly not for everyone. But luckily I have a great comeback when people ask me what it's for.
Look around you and you will see the fruits of quantum physics all around you. From the semiconductors that make up basically everything around us that runs on electricity to computers and smartphones. None of it possible without quantum science. While it still is spooky and weird, it has silently worked its way into our everyday lives. And it still does, working tirelessly in the background to maybe, some day, save the day again. Not the hero we know, but the hero we need?