Your rating: None
Average: 3 (1 vote)

FIRST PRIZE | Quantum Shorts 2020

About the Film: 

Humans of the future have deciphered the secrets of quantum physics, seeding life in micro-universes, yet face an existential threat in their own universe. Director Sitoh Ortega presents the last message of this civilisation, recorded by one of its inhabitants.

Fascinated by very small particles? Read the different views and perspectives of physicists on the question ‘What is a particle?’: https://www.quantamagazine.org/what-is-a-particle-20201112/


Please tell us about yourself and the team that made the film

The team for our short film is very small. My name is Sitoh Ortega and I am a musician, photographer and director. Above all, I am dedicated to composing film scores. Amada Santos is the actress in the short film. She, in addition to being an actress, is a director and screenwriter.

How did you come up with the idea for your film?

The origin of this short film was a dream. I dreamt that scientists had managed with sophisticated techniques to enter and visualise the world of particles. Commentators on TV said that perhaps this technology could save us from the imminent catastrophe that was going to happen, because many physical laws were going to be rewritten (in the dream there was no mention of which catastrophe in particular).

This short film is not intended to be existential, nor is it about death or the fear of dying or anything like that. The screenplay is just a way to tell what interested me: the possibility of traveling to particles and comparing that small infinity with the infinity of space. For me, that is the message of the short film. It is true that the story is told through the five stages of grief: Negation, anger, negotiation, depression and acceptance, but this is a dramatic resource to get to the essence of the subject.

What do you hope to show in the film?

The short film is based only on my fantasy of being able to travel through particles just like we do through space. My intention is to show those dimensions, from the smallest to the largest. In the end, there is another world that also observes the world where the action takes place, which does not pretend to be the Earth.

What makes you interested in quantum physics?

Since I was little, the issue of ‘size’ has attracted my attention as the universe is infinite. I have always wondered: if the universe is infinite towards space, could not it also be towards particles? But it was the 2004 documentary What The Bleep Do We Know!? that got me interested the most. I'm just an amateur but I probably would have devoted myself to physics if I had not been an artist.

Please share with us an interesting detail about you how made the movie.

We shot the film during times of confinement due to the pandemic and without financial resources. It was shot at home, and we illustrated some scenes with NASA’s royalty-free public resource bank for scientific audiovisuals. Having no financial means and having to shoot in one place, it took intense post-production work to make the story credible. Then came the composition of the music, which was one of the most fun processes for me.

We have introduced small tributes as when naming systems and particles in a fictional planet, we have used the names of Higgs or Planck written backwards.

What is your favourite science-inspired or sci-fi movie?

My favourite movies are Interstellar (2014) and Tenet (2020) by Christopher Nolan and Contact (1997) by Robert Zemeckis, based on the book by Carl Sagan. I also like the documentaries Cosmos (1980) by Carl Sagan and What The Bleep Do We Know!? (2004).

What does being a Quantum Shorts finalist mean to you?

Personally, being a finalist in this festival is very special because of its theme. We are very happy and grateful that this idea made with the heart has gone so far.

About the filmmaker(s): 

Sitoh Ortega is a musician, photographer and director, dedicated to composing film scores.
Web: http://www.sitoh.es/
IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6412436/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/sitohnet
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sitohnet

Share this film

Quantum Theories: A to Z

R is for ...

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

M is for ...

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

N is for ...

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.

A is for ...
Act of observation

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

W is for ...

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.

C is for ...

The rules of the quantum world mean that we can process information much faster than is possible using the computers we use now. This column from Quanta Magazine ​delves into the fundamental physics behind quantum computing.

G is for ...

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.

X is for ...

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.

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.

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.

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.

A is for ...

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

C is for ...

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.

C is for ...

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

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.

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.

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.

Q is for ...

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 ...

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

T is for ...

The arrow of time is “irreversible”—time goes forward. On microscopic quantum scales, this seems less certain. A recent experiment shows that the forward pointing of the arrow of time remains a fundamental rule for quantum measurements.

D is for ...

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

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.

T is for ...

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.

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 ...

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

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.

T is for ...
Time travel

Is time travel really possible? This article looks at what relativity and quantum mechanics has to say.

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.

P is for ...

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.

T is for ...

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.

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.

D is for ...

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.

I is for ...

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

S is for ...

The feature of a quantum system whereby it exists in several separate quantum states at the same time.

I is for ...

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

S is for ...

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

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.

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.

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!

L is for ...

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!

E is for ...

As the world makes more advances in quantum science and technologies, it is time to think about how it will impact lives and how society should respond. This mini-documentary by the Quantum Daily is a good starting point to think about these ethical issues. 


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.

K is for ...

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

E is for ...

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.

K is for ...

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

U is for ...

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

R is for ...

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!

Copyright © 2024 Centre for Quantum Technologies. All rights reserved.