Physics-Inspired ATM Deposits Cash Into Billions Of Accounts At Once

Physics-Inspired ATM Deposits Cash Into Billions Of Accounts At Once
Arts & Culture

Philosopher and artist Jonathon Keats built an ATM based on concepts from the quantum science.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 12 june 2013

Artist and experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats has created a different kind of bank ATM that works based on concepts of quantum physics.

Working on the principle of quantum superposition, which describes how a particle exists in all of its possible quantum states simultaneously, the ATM can make money quantum and allow it to proliferate infinitely.


A single deposit into the quantum ATM would force an alpha particle to go into seven billion boxes, each box identified with a single account. That means seven billion accounts would be credited. Below is a more detailed explanation of how this works.

Anybody will be able to deposit any sum of money at the Quantum Bank. While the deposit is being processed, a uranium-glass sphere will emit an alpha particle into a custom-built cylinder inscribed with seven billion microscopic boxes, each uniquely identified with a single account. Were this process being monitored, the quantum particle would be observed to pass through only one of the seven billion boxes, crediting the deposit to a single account. However the entire quantum ATM is sheathed in metal, preventing any measurement from taking place. The superpositioned alpha particle will enter all seven billion boxes, crediting all seven billion accounts. Supported by this quantum bookkeeping technique, the cash itself will effectively be in a superposition.

According to Keats the quantum bank will have enough accounts for everyone in the globe. Anyone who wants an account can sign up for free and will be able to withdraw ‘quantum banknotes’ after depositing the equivalent real-world currency. The bank will be printing its own currency, which can be used anywhere they are accepted.

The Quantum Bank was installed at the Engineer’s Office Gallery in the basement of Rockefeller Center in New York City and will be open to the public until June 14th.



Engineer’s Office

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