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.
We are happy to announce the publication of the Quantum Shorts e-book. The new anthology presents 37 stories shortlisted in the Quantum Shorts competitions held in 2013, 2015 and 2017. The stories are the works of 32 writers from all over the world.
“I have been wowed by the talent this competition has unearthed,” says Michael Brooks, one of the book’s editors. “The stories in this book are a testament to human creativity – both for the science it unpicks and the imaginative and compelling narratives that the science has inspired.”
Quantum Shorts: Collected Flash Fiction Inspired by Quantum Physics is available to download as a free e-book now.
Quantum physics is the counter-intuitive science of the particles of light and matter. For scientists, it’s best described in the language of mathematics and can be usefully designed into devices for computing, communication and sensing.
In the hands of writers, quantum physics has inspired stories that are whimsical and thought-provoking, ranging from bold futuristic imaginings to contemplations about the everyday. There are stories of lovers beginning their lives together, families facing crises, superheroes fighting their nemeses, and – of course – cats.
Quantum concepts including entanglement and superposition, as well as technologies such as quantum computing, are woven into the stories – sometimes in hard sci-fi style, other times almost imperceptibly.
In the book’s foreword, quantum physicist Artur Ekert encourages creative exploration. “There is no contradiction between imagination and rational thinking,” he writes. “I think that without imagination and fantasy you will never live your life to the full; you will never expand your horizons, or come up with new ideas, inventions and discoveries.”
Invention and imagination has made it an exciting time for quantum physics. Progress in quantum computing is claiming headlines and the plotting of Marvel’s Avengers movies has put quantum physics in the public consciousness. For those who have always wanted to dip into the quantum world, Quantum Shorts is an invitation to dive in deeper.
Quantum Shorts is a project by the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at the National University of Singapore. The book produced in collaboration with the partners of Quantum Shorts 2017: Scientific American and Nature, the Australian Research Council Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems; the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo in Canada; the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech in the United States; QuantIC, the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging; and QuTech, a collaboration between the Delft University of Applied Sciences and Dutch innovation centre TNO in the Netherlands.