Judging Panel

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. In 2019, he released two new documentary feature films; The Panama Papers, about the biggest global corruption scandal in history and the journalists who worked in secret and at great risk to break the story, and Trust Machine, about the rise of bitcoin and the blockchain. Previous documentary work includes Deep Web and Downloaded. He directed two quantum short films working with Caltech, the viral hits Anyone can Quantum and Quantum is Calling. In 2020, his documentary Showbiz Kids premiered on HBO and he completed Zappa, the first all-access documentary on the life and times of Frank Zappa. Winter has also returned to screens as William "Bill" S. Preston Esq. in the highly anticipated third instalment in the Bill & Ted franchise, Bill & Ted Face The Music.

alexwinter.com

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. Prior to joining Marina Bay Sands, she was the artistic director of Lighthouse in Brighton, United Kingdom, from 2010 to 2014. In that role, Honor curated projects which showed the cultural impact of scientific ideas, such as Laboratory Life, Invisible Fields and Solar System. She also organised exhibitions by artists such as Trevor Paglen, Timo Arnall and David Blandy, commissioned new work by Semiconductor, Hide&Seek, The Otolith Group and James Bridle, and co-founded Brighton Digital Festival. Through her career, Honor has held several key appointments in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, and has curated many international exhibitions and events around the world. From 2009-2010 she was guest curator of Transmediale, an international festival of art and digital culture in Berlin. From 2004–2008, she was the director of the AV Festival, the UK’s largest biennial of media art, film and music. She was the first webcasting curator for Tate Modern in London from 2000-2003, where she also curated events and concerts on art and technology.

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. His projects have won numerous accolades, including a BAFTA award for the series Inside Nature’s Giantsthe AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Silver Award for Ozone Hole: How We Saved the Planet, and two Emmy nominations for Inside Einstein’s Mind.

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. José Ignacio is also the founder and director coordinator of the Centro de Ciencias de Benasque Pedro Pascual. José Ignacio produced two documentaries, one of them on the last voice of the Manhattan Project, and was one of the curators of the exhibition, Quantum, held at the CCCB in 2019.

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. In 2013 she edited the book Doctor Who and Race (Intellect), which included a group of essays on links between race and science in Doctor Who, and with Marcus Harmes she is co-editor of the forthcoming volume Doctor Who and Science (McFarland, 2020). In 2010 she pioneered CPAS’s undergraduate and postgraduate course ‘Science in Popular Fiction’ and taught it from 2010-2017, being awarded the 2013 ANU Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence partly on its basis. Find out more at her work and personal websites.

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. Ripley, Cold Mountain, Seven, The Rainmaker, The Social Network. His directorial debut was the fiction film Prisoner of Time, a story about two former Russian dissident artists after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most recently, he wrote/produced/directed the hybrid film, The Bit Player, about Claude Shannon, “The Father of Information Theory.” Mark won the inaugural Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication and the inaugural Robert E. Sievers Leonardo da Vinci Award for working in the cross-disciplinary realms of art and science. He is currently adapting Richard Powers’s award-winning novel, The Gold Bug Variations, into a feature film.

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.

I is for ...
Information

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

R is for ...
Randomness

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

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!

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.

G is for ...
Gluon

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

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.

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.

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!

A is for ...
Act of observation

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I is for ...
Interferometer

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

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”.

K is for ...
Kaon

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

U is for ...
Universe

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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 ...
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.

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.

K is for ...
Key

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

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.

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