Quantum Shorts

The winners

Here is the news you’ve been waiting for! Congratulations to directors Sitoh Ortega, Jack Davies and Akash Meel who have won prizes for their quantum-inspired short films!

Our judges praised the shortlisted films. “Quantum Shorts makes a big ask: to produce a compelling short film that also connects with the complex science of quantum physics,” they said. “The diverse and creative films that made this year’s shortlist have different strengths in how they respond to this challenge.”

Thank you to all the filmmakers who shared your works with us, and to our audience members! You can still watch the shortlisted films here, and let us know what you think about the festival. Thank you for being a part of Quantum Shorts!

News

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Latest Update

5 Mar 2021
Winners of the Quantum Shorts film festival
26 Jan 2021
Film festival shortlist announced
2 Dec 2020
The 2020 call for short film submissions is now closed: shortlisting in progress

Organisers

Our Partners

Media Partners

  • Scientific American

Scientific Partners

Screening Partners

  • Otago Museum
  • Honor Harger

    Honor Harger is the Executive Director for ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. A curator from New Zealand, she has a strong interest in artistic uses of technologies and in science as part of culture. Honor brings with her over 15 years of experience of working at the intersection between art, science and technology. She is responsible for charting the overall direction and strategy for ArtScience Museum.

  • Jamie Lochhead

    Jamie Lochhead is a Director and Executive Producer with Windfall Films. He recently wrote and directed Einstein's Quantum Riddle, an award-winning documentary about quantum entanglement for NOVA, the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service's flagship science program, and the BBC.

  • Mark Levinson

    Mark Levinson is the director and producer of the award-winning documentary feature Particle Fever about the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider experiment outside of Geneva. Before embarking on a film career, Mark earned a B.Sc. in Physics from Brown University and a PhD in theoretical particle physics from the University of California at Berkeley. In the film world, he first became a specialist in the post-production writing and recording of dialogue known as ADR, working on over 40 films including The English Patient, The Talented Mr.

  • José Ignacio Latorre

    José Ignacio Latorre was appointed Director of the Centre for Quantum Technologies in July 2020. He is also Professor and Provost’s Chair in the National University of Singapore's Department of Physics. A leading figure in particle physics and quantum information, José Ignacio joined CQT, NUS from the University of Barcelona. He has been heading a research group at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center to build the first quantum processor in Spain. He is one of the founders of the NNPDF collaboration for research on high-energy physics.

  • Lindy Orthia

    Lindy is a senior lecturer in science communication at the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS), the Australian National University. She has published extensively on representations of science in fiction, including in Springer’s Encyclopedia of Science Education and international journals such as Sex RolesPublic Understanding of Science, and Journal of Popular Television.

  • Alex Winter

    Alex Winter is a director, writer and actor who has worked across film, television and theater. He came to prominence in movies such as Warner Bros’ hit The Lost Boys and the wildly popular Bill & Ted franchise. As a filmmaker, Winter’s narrative features include the cult classic Freaked and the critically acclaimed Fever.

Quantum Theories: A to Z

S is for ...
Schrödinger Equation

This is the central equation of quantum theory, and describes how any quantum system will behave, and how its observable qualities are likely to manifest in an experiment.

T is for ...
Tunnelling

This happens when quantum objects “borrow” energy in order to bypass an obstacle such as a gap in an electrical circuit. It is possible thanks to the uncertainty principle, and enables quantum particles to do things other particles can’t.

O is for ...
Objective reality

Niels Bohr, one of the founding fathers of quantum physics, said there is no such thing as objective reality. All we can talk about, he said, is the results of measurements we make.

X is for ...
X-ray

In 1923 Arthur Compton shone X-rays onto a block of graphite and found that they bounced off with their energy reduced exactly as would be expected if they were composed of particles colliding with electrons in the graphite. This was the first indication of radiation’s particle-like nature.

W is for ...
Wave-particle duality

It is possible to describe an atom, an electron, or a photon as either a wave or a particle. In reality, they are both: a wave and a particle.

R is for ...
Randomness

Unpredictability lies at the heart of quantum mechanics. It bothered Einstein, but it also bothers the Dalai Lama.

C is for ...
Computing

The rules of the quantum world mean that we can process information much faster than is possible using the computers we use now.

N is for ...
Nonlocality

When two quantum particles are entangled, it can also be said they are “nonlocal”: their physical proximity does not affect the way their quantum states are linked.

I is for ...
Information

Many researchers working in quantum theory believe that information is the most fundamental building block of reality.

A is for ...
Act of observation

Some people believe this changes everything in the quantum world, even bringing things into existence.

Z is for ...
Zero-point energy

Even at absolute zero, the lowest temperature possible, nothing has zero energy. In these conditions, particles and fields are in their lowest energy state, with an energy proportional to Planck’s constant.

M is for ...
Multiverse

Our most successful theories of cosmology suggest that our universe is one of many universes that bubble off from one another. It’s not clear whether it will ever be possible to detect these other universes.

S is for ...
Schrödinger’s Cat

A hypothetical experiment in which a cat kept in a closed box can be alive and dead at the same time – as long as nobody lifts the lid to take a look.

U is for ...
Universe

To many researchers, the universe behaves like a gigantic quantum computer that is busy processing all the information it contains.

J is for ...
Josephson Junction

This is a narrow constriction in a ring of superconductor. Current can only move around the ring because of quantum laws; the apparatus provides a neat way to investigate the properties of quantum mechanics and is a technology to build qubits for quantum computers.

D is for ...
Dice

Albert Einstein decided quantum theory couldn’t be right because its reliance on probability means everything is a result of chance. “God doesn’t play dice with the world,” he said.

B is for ...
Bell's Theorem

In 1964, John Bell came up with a way of testing whether quantum theory was a true reflection of reality. In 1982, the results came in – and the world has never been the same since!

W is for ...
Wavefunction

The mathematics of quantum theory associates each quantum object with a wavefunction that appears in the Schrödinger equation and gives the probability of finding it in any given state.

Q is for ...
Qubit

One quantum bit of information is known as a qubit (pronounced Q-bit). The ability of quantum particles to exist in many different states at once means a single quantum object can represent multiple qubits at once, opening up the possibility of extremely fast information processing.

G is for ...
Gluon

These elementary particles hold together the quarks that lie at the heart of matter.

S is for ...
Superposition

Quantum objects can exist in two or more states at once: an electron in superposition, for example, can simultaneously move clockwise and anticlockwise around a ring-shaped conductor.

H is for ...
Hidden Variables

One school of thought says that the strangeness of quantum theory can be put down to a lack of information; if we could find the “hidden variables” the mysteries would all go away.

Q is for ...
Quantum biology

A new and growing field that explores whether many biological processes depend on uniquely quantum processes to work. Under particular scrutiny at the moment are photosynthesis, smell and the navigation of migratory birds.

E is for ...
Entanglement

When two quantum objects interact, the information they contain becomes shared. This can result in a kind of link between them, where an action performed on one will affect the outcome of an action performed on the other. This “entanglement” applies even if the two particles are half a universe apart.

U is for ...
Uncertainty Principle

One of the most famous ideas in science, this declares that it is impossible to know all the physical attributes of a quantum particle or system simultaneously.

A is for ...
Alice and Bob

In quantum experiments, these are the names traditionally given to the people transmitting and receiving information. In quantum cryptography, an eavesdropper called Eve tries to intercept the information.

S is for ...
Sensors

Researchers are harnessing the intricacies of quantum mechanics to develop powerful quantum sensors. These sensors could open up a wide range of applications.

I is for ...
Interferometer

Some of the strangest characteristics of quantum theory can be demonstrated by firing a photon into an interferometer

F is for ...
Free Will

Ideas at the heart of quantum theory, to do with randomness and the character of the molecules that make up the physical matter of our brains, lead some researchers to suggest humans can’t have free will.

B is for ...
Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

At extremely low temperatures, quantum rules mean that atoms can come together and behave as if they are one giant super-atom.

T is for ...
Teleportation

Quantum tricks allow a particle to be transported from one location to another without passing through the intervening space – or that’s how it appears. The reality is that the process is more like faxing, where the information held by one particle is written onto a distant particle.

Q is for ...
Quantum States

Quantum states, which represent the state of affairs of a quantum system, change by a different set of rules than classical states.

T is for ...
Time

The arrow of time is “irreversible”—time goes forward. This doesn’t seem to follow the laws of physics which work the same going forward or backward in time. Some physicists argue that there is a more fundamental quantum source for the arrow of time.

H is for ...
Hawking Radiation

In 1975, Stephen Hawking showed that the principles of quantum mechanics would mean that a black hole emits a slow stream of particles and would eventually evaporate.

P is for ...
Planck's Constant

This is one of the universal constants of nature, and relates the energy of a single quantum of radiation to its frequency. It is central to quantum theory and appears in many important formulae, including the Schrödinger Equation.

Y is for ...
Young's Double Slit Experiment

In 1801, Thomas Young proved light was a wave, and overthrew Newton’s idea that light was a “corpuscle”.

R is for ...
Reality

Since the predictions of quantum theory have been right in every experiment ever done, many researchers think it is the best guide we have to the nature of reality. Unfortunately, that still leaves room for plenty of ideas about what reality really is!

K is for ...
Kaon

These are particles that carry a quantum property called strangeness. Some fundamental particles have the property known as charm!

V is for ...
Virtual particles

Quantum theory’s uncertainty principle says that since not even empty space can have zero energy, the universe is fizzing with particle-antiparticle pairs that pop in and out of existence. These “virtual” particles are the source of Hawking radiation.

L is for ...
Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

At CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, this machine is smashing apart particles in order to discover their constituent parts and the quantum laws that govern their behaviour.

C is for ...
Clocks

The most precise clocks we have are atomic clocks which are powered by quantum mechanics. Besides keeping time, they can also let your smartphone know where you are.

M is for ...
Maths

Quantum physics is the study of nature at the very small. Mathematics is one language used to formalise or describe quantum phenomena.

C is for ...
Cryptography

People have been hiding information in messages for millennia, but the quantum world provides a whole new way to do it.

L is for ...
Light

We used to believe light was a wave, then we discovered it had the properties of a particle that we call a photon. Now we know it, like all elementary quantum objects, is both a wave and a particle!

K is for ...
Key

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a way to create secure cryptographic keys, allowing for more secure communication.

G is for ...
Gravity

Our best theory of gravity no longer belongs to Isaac Newton. It’s Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. There’s just one problem: it is incompatible with quantum theory. The effort to tie the two together provides the greatest challenge to physics in the 21st century.

A is for ...
Atom

This is the basic building block of matter that creates the world of chemical elements – although it is made up of more fundamental particles.

M is for ...
Many Worlds Theory

Some researchers think the best way to explain the strange characteristics of the quantum world is to allow that each quantum event creates a new universe.

D is for ...
Decoherence

Unless it is carefully isolated, a quantum system will “leak” information into its surroundings. This can destroy delicate states such as superposition and entanglement.

P is for ...
Probability

Quantum mechanics is a probabilistic theory: it does not give definite answers, but only the probability that an experiment will come up with a particular answer. This was the source of Einstein’s objection that God “does not play dice” with the universe.

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