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!
Are you wondering how to start writing for Quantum Shorts? We asked the winner of our 2013 contest, Brian Crawford, about the inspiration behind his story The Knight of Infinity
How did you hear about the contest?
Brian: I saw an advertisement for the Quantum Shorts contest while thumbing through a Scientific American magazine on an airplane. It's ironic that I discovered this futuristic contest in a print advertisement.
What inspired your story?
Brian: There may have been some quantum entanglement at work in the events leading up to my writing The Knight of Infinity. I had just visited my clairvoyant dentist (seriously), and she told me I should explore quantum physics and multiple universes in my writing. I always agree with my dentist, because I can't talk back. The next day I saw the ad in Scientific American.
At the same time, there was lot of debate in the news about California's proposed bullet train, so the idea of Rider Quinn's train was born.
Iâ€™ve been fascinated with quantum physics since college. And I love bending my mind around the concept of infinity, the idea that everything that could happen is happening, an infinite number of times. So there's an infinite number of Brian Crawford's typing this right right now, and a second ago, and a million years from now, and this Brian has blue hair, and that one is typing with his nose, andâ€¦ you get the picture.
What do you think makes good science fiction? Do you have any tips for people who are going to enter Quantum Shorts?
Brian: The science is important, but focus more on the universal elements of a good story. Make the reader care about your characters in as few words as possible. As for popular contests, my little brother told me this about karaoke: This isn't the place to demonstrate your mastery of some obscure opera. The audience wants something they can relate to. So put on a universal song, and sing your heart out.