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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 (
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Director: Alex Winter
Producers: Devorah DeVries (Trouper Productions) and Spyridon Michalakis (Caltech)
Associate Producer: Damir Omic
Director of Photography: Joe DeSalvo
Graphics: Jonathan Pope
Script: Jose M. Gonzalez
Story: Gorjan Alagic, Chris Cantwell, Jose M. Gonzalez and Spyridon Michalakis
Editor: Chris Catanach (Stitch Studios)
Ant-Man footage courtesy of Disney and Marvel Studios.
Funding provided by the National Science Foundation.
welcome to the future it's 27:16 and it is most excellent but it almost wasn't 700 years ago Paul Rudd changed the course of history by showing the world that anyone could grapple with the concepts of quantum mechanics it sparked an era of invention and ingenuity the likes of which humanity had never seen but the great one almost let this opportunity slip away so for the sake of our future on this force to send a message 700 years back along the time axis to prevent his failure what is this Paul I didn't wake you did I there's a role for this guy who gets his teeth kicked in I thought you'd be perfect um hey Matt this is gonna sound strange but I think I just got an email from you from 700 years in the future that doesn't surprise me I don't age once I truly master entanglement communication via closed timelike curves should be straightforward oh yeah that makes total sense hey man next time you talk to future me find out if I'm still jamming with my band dog song all right I'm hanging up now hanging up yeah hi this is Paul Rudd I'm calling to ask why you haven't invited me to speak at one entangled evening Stephen Hawking no well um you can open for me no credentials what are you talking about I'm in sag alright how about if I best your precious expert at a game of quantum chess winner gets to give the speech public by tomorrow no problem I can I can that's easy see it's totally easy hello hello hi Siri could you call Stephen Hawking colleague Stephen Hawking you hey is this Stephen Hawking this is dr. Hawking oh well this is mr. Rudd who office hours are 3 to 5 p.m. oh no look I'm just I'm just calling to challenge you to a game of quantum chess and the winner gets to give the keynote address at Cal Poly hmm you mean Caltech what makes you qualified to speak on quantum mechanics well I'm an Actors Equity since the theater Union but also I've been to the quantum realm I've uh I've been there I've seen it I felt it what about you Big Shot what have you done ok hug you are on I shall crush you like an end man ah so you do know who I am see you online 5 p.m. GMT GMT was GMT means that like lol or something quantum chess a variant of regular chess in which every piece is endowed with quantum powers take this queen for example unlock her true powers and this quantum Queen can move twice in a single turn the catch there is an equal chance the Queen never moved the opponent may attack any of the Queen's positions forcing her to reveal her true location by pure chance the Queen is actually there the bishops quantum move is overruled the Queen wins this battle I don't understand any of this this is but a glimpse of the new possibilities the full power of quantum chess is far greater as our story will reveal oh oh I'm probably gonna lose that must have a chess book and all of these ah illegal trap never again never again yes I think I'm ready are you ready Paul I'll make this quick and painful painful sometime back that is not a typo Oh at 12:03 p.m. Eastern Standard Time January 12th 2016 the battle for the future began it is a story that has been told for generations the game began with what looked like a standard opening but dr. Hawking was setting up actor Rudd for a legal trap that could have ended the game and our future before it even had a chance oh come on that's a legal trap because he's trying to beat me regular chess moves that almost took five minutes what a colossal waste of my time you fell for one of the oldest traps in the book checkmate that's right Redmayne and you fell for one of the newest Schrodinger's king actor Rudd's King was now in two places at once in quantum superposition the doctor had to choose one and hoped that the wave function would collapse in his favor superposition maybe this guy is not that new the group I took him for just like Schrodinger's famous cat Rudd's King was both alive and dead because of that uncertainty the game had to go on merely delaying the inevitable I'm guessing here but you sound worried that so with a brilliant counter-attack hawking leveled the playing field the game soon turned into a grueling marathon trap after trap faint after faint the battle went on but eventually his scales tipped in the doctors favor Ruud was down to his final two pieces our future hung in the balance ah I have you now Brian Fantana a well-fought match conceit now salvage some dignity okay my king is in super position I only have one move left to turn the tables how can I get my bishop to the edge with my King in the way my god what if the pieces could somehow pass through each other entanglement entanglement is the key future Keanu was right check this I hope this works otherwise that one-liners gonna come back to haunt me with an ingenious move rod set up one last opportunity to win the match the fates of his Bishop and his King were now joined by the power of quantum entanglement what happened was that a glitch no matter I'm ending this dr. Hawking pressed his perceived advantage using a quantum move to smash actor Rudd's king with both pieces in the same space a quantum measurement was needed to decide the game was Rudd's King dead or was he alive and well with the bishop in position for the checkmate yes yes Shabbat checkmate all right Kiana cow what's up my friend Bill and Ted that will work so well right now shut up Ted oh yeah that's it of course thank you shut up Ted on that celebrated day actor Paul Rudd defeated the greatest mind of his generation dr. Stephen Hawking in a game of quantum chess children that would one day revolutionized physics saw the walls fall Paul had cracked open the universe of possibilities my present and your future are forever grateful how I did not touch your Bishop entanglement dr. Hawking it surrounds us and penetrates us it binds the Galaxy together you're it you