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.
SHORTLISTED | Quantum Shorts 2018
If quantum objects can be in two places or states at once, what is true and what is not? What is the shadow and what the reality? Spanish filmmaker Paco Freire presents a pithy, horror-style take on quantum superposition. The idea came from his five-year-old twin sons, one of whom stars in this short. Prepare for 30 seconds of suspense.
For a deeper dive into what happens in a quantum superposition, sample this piece from Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/quantum-physics-may-be-even-s...
Please tell us about yourself and the team that made the film.
My name is Paco Freire and I am a television director in Spain. For this film, I had the best possible team: my family. The protagonist is my son Luis Freire (5 years old) and my technical assistants were his brothers Paco (5 years old) and Roi (3 years old). Their mother did the costumes. We recorded it one afternoon in our own house.
How did you come up with the idea for your film?
Every night when I put my children to bed, I tell stories. Paco and Luis are twins and they sleep in a bunk bed. One night they were playing, asking me questions. Paco, who sleeps up top, asked “who is under my bed?” and Luis below, answered with another question, “who is on my bed?”.
Being twins and having a strong physical resemblance, they gave the impression of being the same person in two different places at the same time. The idea of the monster was provided by my son Luis, given the logical attraction he feels for these creatures.
What is the quantum inspiration? What makes you interested in quantum physics?
I have never been conscious of being interested in quantum physics, however it has always been present in my life. I am interested in the paradoxes it generates and how it completely turns around what I thought was rational.
Please share with us an interesting detail about you how made the movie.
Once the script was written, the casting was easy. I came home from work with the lighting and sound material necessary for the filming and the idea was to record the movie that afternoon. Only Luis was awake. The other members of the family were doing one of the most typical things in Spain, sleeping “la siesta”, so I decided that the protagonist would be the only member of the family that afternoon who was not taking a nap. Logical.
What reaction do you hope for from viewers?
It is difficult to understand a dimension in which objects can be in two different places or be at the same time to your right and to your left. That idea seems incredible to me. I would like the viewer to pause for a moment to think that reality can have two points of view, that of the child who is above and that of the same child but from below. And that they are also totally opposed. In just thirty seconds and with only two questions.
What is your favourite science-inspired or sci-fi movie?
“Being John Malkovich”, it is not exactly science fiction, but I am attracted to the idea of impossible things, developed as if they were normal.
What does being a Quantum Shorts finalist mean to you?
That our work has pleased the festival team to be selected as a finalist makes us feel very happy and proud. We are all delighted with being finalists in the Quantum Shorts festival and happy with the global recognition that our work will have with this award. I've been doing TV shows in Spain for many years now, but with this family job it's one of the things I'm most proud of.
Paco Freire is a television director in Spain.