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Quantum on the clock schools video competition winners

School students showcase their quantum creativity in three-minute videos.

Let’s do an experiment. Mix the curiosity of high-school students with the bubbling fields of quantum science and technology and what do you get? The answer involves time-reversed caterpillars, animated black holes and quantum-internet Lego – all these and more surfaced in our new quantum video competition.

The IOP QQQ group (Quantum Optics, Quantum Information and Quantum Control) set out on a mission to get more young people engaged with quantum science and technology. We challenged A-Level and equivalent students to create three-minute videos about any aspect of quantum science or technology, individually or in teams.

Our expert judges were hugely impressed by the creativity, enthusiasm and advanced research that went into all the videos – ranging from stop-motion sweets as particles to news shows about quantum computing algorithms and cartoon characters discussing black-body radiation.

Competition winners

We are pleased to announce the top winners, runners-up and highly commended entries, selected from over 120 entries from across the UK and Ireland.

Head over to the IOP YouTube channel to watch the shortlisted entries for yourself!

Prize Entrant Video
Best individual video Hannah Chapman Copenhagen Vs Everett Interpretation
Best team video May Cui and Margaret Liu Story of Blackbody Radiation - the 1st Step into the Quantum World
National Physical Laboratory Prize
For most creative video
Sophia Gilbert and Karna Majdian Quantum News Network
National Quantum Computing Centre Prize
For best explained video
Talhat Al Jibawi The Growing World of Quantum Biology
IBM Quantum Prize
For most engaging video
Maisie Saunders and Lewis Payne Quantum Information and Caterpillars
Oxford Quantum Circuits Prize
For most well-researched video
Sherlyn Nammi The Black Hole Information Paradox
Universal Quantum Prize
For the best video response to the question "What would you do with a 1-million qubit quantum computer?"
Alexander Kozlov Quantum Computing - A Quantum on the Clock Challenge
Runners-Up Thiara de Alwis, Leila Humphrey and Antonio Stanchev What is Quantum Computing?
  Adam Ghosh Bose-Einstein Condensates: The Remarkable Power of Quantum Fuzziness
  Lana Howell What is quantum entanglement?
  Isabella Topley Behold: The Quantum Internet
  Diane de Nonneville An Introduction to Pilot Wave Theory
  Justina Mateescu Qubits. Quantum Computers
  Christina Mooney Waves, Particles, Quantum Fields and the hunt for VIRTUAL PARTICLES
  Omar Ibrahim The Wavefunction
  Simon Eccles The Wavefunction & Particle-Wave Duality
Highly Commended Daniel Orton and Sofia Monarchi What is a qubit?
  Ethan Kerr Is there many worlds? - Hugh Everett's Interpretation
  Sharon Hon The Pursuit of a Theory of Quantum Gravity
  Wong Cheuk Yin The Framed Cat: A Modern Myth
  Diya Modi Building a Quantum Computer
  Olympia Andipa Quantum Tunnelling: The Key to Nuclear Fusion in the Sun and thus Life on Earth

How did we find the winners?

The entries were judged by a panel of 17 expert judges, ranging from quantum ballerina Merrit Moore to science broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili and quantum YouTuber Mithuna Yoganathan. We had judges from universities, quantum organisations and quantum science communication. Read about our judges.

The top 22 entries were selected based on the four judging criteria: creativity, clarity, accuracy and engagement. 

What happened at the Photon 2022 prize ceremony? 

The winners of the top individual, top team, and sponsor prizes were all invited for an expenses-paid trip to the Photon 2022 conference on 1 September, hosted by the University of Nottingham. The students were also taken to Nottingham’s Department of Physics for lab tours led by Nottingham researchers.

Many questions about cold atoms and lasers later, the students were then able to network with quantum researchers from around the world who were attending the conference. They also took part in the dinner, which began with a surprise violin performance light-show involving the Star Wars theme tune, and all the winners were presented with their certificates, along with some highlights of our judges’ comments about their entries. 

Who was behind the scenes?

Quantum on the Clock was a completely new competition this year, and many people and organisations were involved to make it happen.

The competition was generously sponsored at the Gold level by IBM Quantum, the National Physical Laboratory, Oxford Quantum Circuits, the National Quantum Computing Centre and Universal Quantum, and at the Bronze level by Oxford Ionics and the Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub. Find out more about our sponsors.

Teams across the IOP worked hard with the QQQ group to establish the competition and get everything running. The organisers of Photon 2022 helpfully hosted the top winners, and physicists at the University of Nottingham gave inspiring lab tours.  

The QQQ group would like to thank everyone who made the competition happen, everyone who helped spread the word to schools and students, and most of all, all the enthusiastic young people who took the time to learn about quantum and submit an entry to the competition! We hope your quantum journeys are just beginning.

If you have any questions, contact [email protected].

Students exploring labs with Nottingham University physicists

Pictured above: Students exploring labs with Nottingham University physicists

Students on a tour of Nottingham University cold-atoms lab

Pictured above: Students on a tour of Nottingham University cold-atoms lab

Students wearing safety goggles for a cold-atoms lab tour at Nottingham University

Pictured above: Students wearing safety goggles for a cold-atoms lab tour at Nottingham University

Students chatting to QQQ group scientists at the Photon 2022 conference

Pictured above: Students chatting to QQQ group scientists at the Photon 2022 conference

Students receiving their awards at the Photon 2022 conference

Pictured above: Students receiving their awards at the Photon 2022 conference