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.
After the Quantum Shorts film festival launched its call for entries in September 2022, filmmakers responded with 232 quantum-inspired films from 58 different countries – the most in the film festival’s history. The festival now presents its nine finalists.
“What incredible creativity in these films. Quantum is explored through sound and colour, pattern and randomness,” says shortlisting judge Spiros Michalakis from the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech.
The finalists hail from Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Each film gives a different take on quantum physics in less than five minutes. Viewers will see dancers perform an interpretation of the observer effect, abstract audiovisual pieces probe space and time, and the many-worlds interpretation made into quantum comedy, among others.
“As a scientist, it was astonishing to see the range of interpretations of quantum physics: from entangled human feelings, over quantum as a form of destiny, to hypothetical future catastrophes,” says shortlisting judge Mariagrazia Iuliano at QuTech. “It is also impressive to experience how a rigid and strict physical model – which cannot be experienced in daily life – is brought to life in artistic movies.”
Shortlisting judge Tim Hirsch at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems also commended the artistry of the films. He said, “I enjoyed seeing music and dance used to personify characters that we physicists usually drily describe as ‘systems’ or ‘particles’. I was generally impressed by the technical skill of the entrants.”
For making the shortlist, these entries win a one-year digital subscription to Scientific American and a USD 250 screening award. The finalists could be up for more honours. The First Prize and Runner Up of the festival will now be decided by Quantum Shorts’ eminent judges.
You could have a say too. We invite you to cast your vote for the People’s Choice prize. Voting is now open on the Quantum Shorts website and closes at 11:59 PM GMT on 27 March 2023.
To enjoy the films, you can watch the Quantum Shorts trailer first or dive straight into them via the festival website at shorts.quantumlah.org, where you can also find interviews with the filmmakers revealing behind-the-scenes stories.
In alphabetical order, the shortlisted films are:
Congratulations to the finalists!