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CQT's Dagomir Kaszlikowski wins film award

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6 December 2014

Dagomir Kaszlikowski

CQT Principal Investigator Dagomir Kaszlikowski does research into the foundations of quantum physics and makes movies.

It takes creativity to be a good research scientist, and sometimes that creativity spills over into other spheres.

CQT Principal Investigator Dagomir Kaszlikowski has won top prize in a contest for films that feature physics. The "Show me the physics!" video contest was run by the Foundational Questions Institute in the US, an organization that provides philanthropic funding for research on the foundations of physics.

Dagomir's 15-minute quantum thriller "Seeing Without Looking" was selected from over 100 entries to the competition for one of three top prizes worth $10,000.

Anthony Aguirre, Associate Scientific Director of FQXi and a Professor at UC Santa Cruz, described his movie as "wonderfully creative while based on real quantum mechanics" during the prize announcements on 5 December (archived to watch online here).

The film deals with a famous thought experiment in quantum physics known as the 'Elitzur–Vaidman bomb tester', but it's not a straight explainer. Dagomir recruited CQT Principal Investigator Vlatko Vedral and some professional actors to turn the idea into drama, spending three days to come up with a script and two to film it. Vlatko plays a shady quantum professor summoned to deal with a crisis.

Watch the film here:

Dagomir has directed and collaborated in a number of previous films, not all about physics. Most recently he was a finalist in the Yahoo Fast Flicks video contest with a touching two-minute story called "Morning Beauty".

"Quantum physics is so full of wonderful paradoxes that actually they just wait to be converted into something like thrillers or gangster movies," said Dagomir during the prize presentation. He plans to put the prize money towards making more films about quantum physics.