A few months ago, in a post on another one of my blogs (if you really want to know, see Quantum Computers, November 2016), I developed a strong interest in all things quantum. Working on that post reminded me of a Youtube video that appeared a year ago on the IQIM Caltech channel:-
- Stephen Hawking faces Paul Rudd in epic chess match (feat. Keanu Reeves) 'Caltech's Institute for Quantum Information and Matter in association with Trouper Productions brings you a chess match for the ages: Paul Rudd vs. Stephen Hawking in a game of Quantum Chess, narrated by Keanu Reeves. The game is real and the stakes are high as the future of humanity hangs in the balance. Can Paul Rudd beat Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds of our generation, in a game of chess that will determine the future of humanity? Most likely not. Unless... Quantum Chess Developer: Chris Cantwell and Broken Circle Studios'
When the clip first came out, I didn't understand it, but it made more sense on the second viewing. With nearly 3.8M views, 63.6K likes, and 3.0K comments, it's safe to say that many other people were also impressed. The Chess Mind, 'A blog for chess fans, by a chess fan', gets a flash mention -- see Quantum Chess, Anyone? (thechessmind.net) -- which lifts the credibility of the video yet another notch. Some links from the video's description:-
- Quantum Frontiers, 'A blog by the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter @ Caltech'
- IQIM – Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
- Quantum Realm Games, the official(?) site for the game played in the video, unfortunately with an empty forum
- Quantum Chess (facebook.com)
A followup video was released later, although the chess content is almost nil:-
- Stephen Hawking + Zoe Saldana: Quantum is Calling ft. Keanu Reeves, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Paul Rudd Zoe Saldana enlists the help of Stephen Hawking to solve a quantum riddle in order to get Simon Pegg’s cat back. This follows Paul Rudd’s epic quantum chess match with Stephen Hawking.
The developer of quantum chess gives a longer, more technical explanation in the following video.
Christopher Cantwell - Quantum Chess: Making Quantum Phenomena Accessible (1:26:51) Institute for Quantum Studies - 'Recorded seminar at Chapman University.'
Around nine minutes into the clip he discusses two other versions of quantum chess:-
- Quantum Chess, 'invented by Selim Akl'
- qCraft Introduces Gaming Kids to Quantum Principles (caltech.edu; October 2013), Spyridon Michalakis
If by some quantum miracle I manage to digest all of the above, I'll come back to the subject in a future post.