thinkBio logo  Quantum Mine
Why it matters

The big deal here is not 'winning' the game--it's observing how you play and improving your strategies. Simple games like this (and sudoku, MasterMind, Set, Battleship, etc.) generally require rigorous application of the scientific approach. The purpose in making logic puzzles part of a science course is to encourage you to observe your approach, categorize it, and improve upon it.

Quantum Mine: The movie (if funny dimensions, try here) [Movie plays through twice; only the first 1/2 is unique]


Choose the degree of difficulty by clicking the appropriate 'gem' checkboxes and picking the number of gems in the mine. Adding fancy gems (Mercury, Plutonium) or more gems allows you to get more points.


Rules of the mine are summarized in the display accessed via the 'Show Rules' button

Click 'New Mine' to create a mine according to your settings. Click on one of the green arrows to 'launch' a beam into the mine and see what happens.

Mark each hypothesis about a gem location by clicking the circle within the appropriate grid square; these cycle through Lead, (Mercury if present), (Plutonium if present) and blank. Once you think your hypothesis is well-tested and correct, click the 'I Want the Truth' button.


Training Wheels--learning aids (no credit when used to solve a puzzle)

In order to understand exactly how the hidden events are operating, you can visualize the hiddens gems and/or the beam by clicking the 'Show Beam' or 'Show Gems' button. Of course, anytime you use either of these features, you turn off credit for that particular mine!

The assignment (getting credit)

Completing a mine successfully (without using too many probes) gets you bonus credit for that will be added to your PatternMaster assignment score. A maximum of FOUR points of bonus credit can be achieved. If you want the bonus, you'll need to stretch yourself and solve one of the more challenging variants--different gems, more gems... More fancy, more bonus:

Each gem over 3

Mercury gems

Plutonium gems