Live events

The screening period for the most recent Quantum Shorts film festival has now ended. There will be no more live events, although you can continue to enjoy some of the films in our online archive.

Thanks to all our scientific partners and screening partners for the events they held this year!



Washington, DC, USA - 18 September

Screening at the 2019 Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science Conference and Exhibition

7.30pm Wednesday 18 September

The Optical Society (OSA) is holding a screening of four Quantum Shorts films at the 2019 Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science Conference and Exhibition. The event will be hosted by Araceli Venegas-Gomez from QURECA, UK. More event details at: https://www.frontiersinoptics.com/home/special-events/#1302


London, UK - 4 September

Screening UCL, Bentham House, Lecture Theatre LG26

6pm Wednesday 4 September

Hosted by the UCL Quantum Science and Technology Institute (UCLQ), this screening event will be introduced by Prof Jonathan Oppenheim, Professor of Quantum Theory and Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department of Physics and Astronomy (Quantum Information Group, UCLQ). Register at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/uclq-film-screening-quantum-shorts-tickets-64974188547


London, UK - 30 June

Screening at The Great Exhibition Road Festival

1pm Sunday 30 June

This screening is part of The Great Exhibition Road Festival's ‘Art of Science’ talks series. Each Quantum Shorts film will be introduced and discussed by a quantum physicist at Imperial College. More details and booking at: https://www.greatexhibitionroadfestival.co.uk/event/quantum-shorts/?backto=art-science-talk-series


Birmingham, UK - 25 June

Screening at the Art & Science Festival at the University of Birmingham

12pm Tuesday 25 June

Organised by the UK National Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology, this screening is a free event held as part of the University of Birmingham's week-long Arts & Science festival. More details and booking at https://artsandsciencefestival.co.uk/festival-event/quantum-shorts/


Glasgow, UK - 15 June

Screening at Glasgow Science Centre

4pm Saturday 15 June

QuantIC, the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging, has partnered with Glasgow Science Centre to put on a screening of Quantum Shorts in the centre's planetarium. The event will be hosted by Daniele Faccio, Professor in Quantum Technologies at the University of Glasgow. Book tickets here: https://www.glasgowsciencecentre.org/whats-on/quantum-shorts

York, UK - 14 June

Screening at The York Festival of Ideas

6.30pm Friday 14 June

The UK's Quantum Communications Hub is organising a screening at York University. This event will feature the ten film finalists introduced by physicist Tim Spiller, who will also answer questions at the end. More details and free registration via http://yorkfestivalofideas.com/2019/events/quantum-shorts/

Brisbane, AUSTRALIA - 29 April

Screening at The Elizabeth Picture Theatre

6.30pm Monday 29 April

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems is holding a screening of the shortlisted films that will include a panel of quantum experts to quiz, light canapes and a drink. Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/quantum-shorts-film-screening-tickets-58197279630

Sydney, AUSTRALIA - 16 April

Screening at The Sydney Nanoscience Hub

6.30pm Tuesday 16 April

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems has organised a screening of the finalists in Sydney! As well as the films, there will be a Q&A with local experts, short talk and free pizza. Register: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/quantum-shorts-public-screening-tickets-59369850822


Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND - 7-9 March

Screening at the Otago Museum

  • 5.30pm Friday 7 March (ticketed)
  • 12pm and 2pm Saturday 9 and Sunday March (drop-in)

Organised with the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies.More event details at http://otagomuseum.nz/whats-on/do/programme-and-events/event/quantum-shorts


SINGAPORE - 22-26 February & 2-3 March

Screening at ArtScience Museum, 10am-7pm daily

The Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore has partnered with ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands to show the Quantum Shorts finalists over multiple days. Entry is free.

There will be a special event on the afternoon of Saturday 23 February with talks and a panel Q&A. Follow the Facebook events page to get details as they are announced: www.facebook.com/events/428707227936648/permalink/431990424274995/

Waterloo, CANADA - 13 February

Screening at the Apollo Theatre, 7pm

Organised by the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, this event with include a discussion moderated by the Institute's Manager for Scientific Outreach, John Donohue. Free registration at https://www.ticketfi.com/event/2932/entangled-the-series-quantum-film



Quantum Theories: A to Z

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 ...

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

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.

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.

S is for ...

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.

I is for ...

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

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.

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.

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.

I is for ...

Some of the strangest characteristics of quantum theory can be demonstrated by firing a photon into an interferometer: the device’s output is a pattern that can only be explained by the photon passing simultaneously through two widely-separated slits.

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.

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.

U is for ...

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

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.

A is for ...
Act of observation

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ...
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.

G is for ...

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

R is for ...

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

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.

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.

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!

T is for ...

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.

R is for ...

The atoms of a radioactive substance break apart, emitting particles. It is impossible to predict when the next particle will be emitted as it happens at random. All we can do is give the probability that any particular atom will have decayed by a given time.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

C is for ...

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

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.

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.

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.

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