ByChris Harkin, writer at
It's hard to tell who's more crazy... me, or everyone else. Aspiring Screen Writer and Speculator of Everything. Feel free to shoot me an em
Chris Harkin

I mean let's face it, your day isn't complete until you have watched a video where a future version of Keanu Reeves forces Paul Rudd to take on Stephen Hawking in a game of quantum chess for the right to be the key-note speaker at a CalTech quantum mechanics event.

The video, directed by Alex Winters (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure) who also cameos in it, was shown at 'One entangled Evening', an event which kicked off a day long conference at Caltech on the future of quantum computing. Intriguing stuff, I know, but for now just check out the video itself below.

I'm a little confused, having never played quantum chess myself, but it certainly is exciting, and I'm sure Rudd could face off against Hawking in real life as well. Let's relive some of the physics behind all of that craziness!

The Quantum Realm!

As anyone who has seen Ant-Man will know, the quantum realm is what happens when the suit shrinks too much, and a realm is entered where time and space have no meaning. However, in real life, the quantum realm is a place that physicists find terrifying, because everything there is about probabilities. Nothing is certain in the quantum realm, and this is the basis for the quantum chess game, because a thing can technically be in two places at once, we just don't know which one it is actually in. Take a look at this scene from Ant-Man:

Schrodinger's Cat

A well known paradox in the world of physics, Schrodinger's Cat attempts to describe what happens when the world of quantum mechanics is applied to everyday objects. It is a scenario which presents that a cat may be both dead and alive at the same time. This is known as quantum superposition, and is a result of a subatomic event that could happen, but won't necessarily. See how it becomes all about probability?


This is a physical phenomenon that basically happens when a group of particles are impacted on in a way that means their state can't be described individually, it has to be taken as a system. So that is how Paul Rudd won the game, by making the whole game a system through quantum entanglement. And if you understood any of what I just said, you're smarter than me. Congratulations. Maybe you, like Paul Rudd, could master both quantum physics and chess in one night in order to defeat Stephen Hawking at his own game.

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