Quantum Leaps: Read the Winning Entry in a Physics-Inspired Fiction Contest

The Quantum Shorts competition invited stories incorporating the laws of quantum mechanics

The mind-bending possibilities of quantum physics lend themselves to philosophy -to wondering about the theory’s implications for the meaning of life, the idea of free will, the fate of us all. A talented pool of writers have capitalized on those implications to produce an impressive array of entries in this year’s Quantum Shorts contest, which invites short fiction based on the ideas of quantum mechanics. Scientific American and Nature partnered with the Center for Quantum Technologies in Singapore, which organizes the annual competition.

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Dario Fo usou a sátira contra os poderosos


Autor italiano dizia que o riso é o principal instrumento da razão e a mais alta expressão da dúvida. “Um povo sem gosto para a sátira está morto”, afirmava o irreverente ganhador do Prêmio Nobel de Literatura de 1997.”Eu sou um palhaço que ganhou o Prêmio Nobel de Literatura”: era assim que Dario Fo gostava de se apresentar, e o fez muitas vezes em entrevistas a jornais. O autor e humorista italiano gostava de brincar com a mais alta distinção literária – que ele recebera em 1997, surpreendendo muitos críticos e desagradando políticos locais – para deixar claro em seguida que os humoristas sempre foram os verdadeiros intelectuais da Itália. Leer Más

The art of medical literature


One of the two people to whom cancer physician, researcher and writer Siddhartha Mukherjee dedicates his new book, The Gene: An Intimate History, is a girl named Carrie Buck. It’s unlikely many of you would have heard of her. By the time she turned 21, Buck, born in 1906, had become a symbol of all the warnings explicit in Mukherjee’s book about the dangers of genetic modification. Less than a decade before the genocide—a word, Mukherjee points out, with the same etymology as gene—of Jewish people in Germany, negative eugenics, or the forced sterilization of people considered genetically inferior so that their kind could be weeded out of society, was a point of raging debate in Britain, vocal participants being Charles Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton and science fiction writer H.G. Wells. Leer Más