From deep inside the sewers of Vienna, site of groundbreaking quantum teleportation experiments, to cutting-edge quantum computing labs, to voyages into the minds of the world’s brightest thinkers, including renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking, this documentary explores the coming quantum technological revolution.

"The Quantum Tamers presents the weirdness and wonder of the quantum world in a strikingly original, accessible and engaging visual style. It graphically conveys why quantum physics is so useful and why it holds the key to futuristic information technologies," says Neil Turok, Director of Perimeter Institute. "I think you will find yourself challenged and amazed, just like the scientists themselves. Sharing in their enthusiasm for research, discovery and innovation is part of the fun." Shot in High Definition in 16 cities in 6 countries, and using dance and animation to describe quantum physics, this entertaining program brings together over a dozen of the planet’s brightest minds (see below) to show how the weird is becoming wired and why a new era of quantum technologies may rock your world.

About the Documentary

Over one hundred years ago, scientists began to observe very strange behaviours at the level of mere atoms and subatomic particles. They discovered that particles could be waves, that waves could be particles, and that particles could appear to be in two places at the same time.  Scientists also found that particles could become 'entangled', such that a change made to one would result in an immediate change in the other, regardless of whether the particles were an arm's length apart or separated by light years. Albert Einstein called this quantum weirdness "spooky action at a distance." Though these behaviours still puzzle scientists, their quantum features have already brought us lasers, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging in health care (MRIs), modern micro-circuitry, and the CDs and DVDs that are so much a part of our modern world. Now scientists and engineers are on the threshold of a new quantum technological revolution. Exploiting what some describe as the 'weirdest' and most counterintuitive principles of quantum physics, these scientists' experiments will have far-reaching impact on how we live our lives. Their novel ideas and promising technologies involve super-powerful quantum computers that process quantum bits, or "qubits," of information; ultra-secure quantum codes to safeguard communications; and even quantum teleportation (as the world’s real "Mr. Beam" explains). Featured scientists in the Quantum Tamers include: 

Dorit Aharonov, Hebrew University

Dr. Aharonov is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the Hebrew University in Israel. In addition to other interests, her work focuses on quantum computation, algorithms and cryptography. 

Alain Aspect, Institut d’Optique and Ecole Polytechnique

Dr. Aspect is a Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique in France. He is a respected figure in quantum mechanics research and, in addition to a lengthy list of accomplishments, he is credited with settling a 70-year-old dispute between Bohr and Einstein regarding quantum entanglement. 

David Cory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Cory is a Professor of Nuclear Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and chairs the advisory committee for CIFAR’s Quantum Information Processing program. He is an experimental physicist working to develop spin-based quantum processors.

Joseph Emerson, University of Waterloo

Dr. Emerson is currently a faculty member of the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, studying quantum computing and the foundations of quantum theory. Prior to his position at UW, he held postdoctoral positions at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Perimeter Institute. 

Nicolas Gisin, University of Geneva

Dr. Gisin is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Geneva. Among other distinctions, he has recently won the first Biennial John Stewart Bell Prize for Research on Fundamental Issues in Quantum Mechanics and their Applications.

Daniel Gottesman, Perimeter Institute

Dr. Gottesman has spent over 10 years working in the field of quantum information and is widely regarded as a world expert on techniques for preventing errors in quantum computing. A former student of John Preskill, he has worked at Los Alamos, Microsoft Research, and UC Berkeley. 

Lucien Hardy, Perimeter Institute

Dr. Hardy has held several international research and lecturing positions. While in Rome, he collaborated on an experiment to demonstrate quantum teleportation. In 1992, he found a very simple proof of nonlocality in quantum theory, now known as Hardy’s theorem. 

Stephen Hawking, University of Cambridge

Dr. Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and a Distinguished Research Chair at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is known for his many contributions to the fields of cosmology, black holes and quantum gravity.  

Raymond Laflamme, University of Waterloo

Dr. Laflamme is the Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), and an Associate Faculty member at Perimeter Institute. Amongst his most important theoretical results was inventing, with Emmanuel Knill and Gerard Milburn, a radically new approach to quantum computing using linear optics.  

Seth Lloyd, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Lloyd is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and a principal investigator at the Research Laboratory of Electronics.  In addition to his contributions to quantum computation and quantum communications research, he is also the author of “Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos.” 

Gerard Milburn, University of Queensland

Dr. Milburn is a Professor at the University of Queensland, Deputy Director of the Centre for Quantum Computer Technology (CQCT), and Program Manager for Quantum Information Theory at CQCT.  He is the author of two books that seek to explain quantum phenomena for a general audience, “Schrodinger’s Machines” and “The Feynman Processor.”  

Peter Shor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Shor is a professor of Applied Mathematics at MIT.  Among his many contributions to foundational research is Shor’s algorithm, a quantum algorithm for factoring numbers that is exponentially faster than any currently running on classical computers. 

Barbara Terhal, IBM Watson Research Center

Dr. Terhal is a Research Staff Member at the IBM Watson Research Center.  She is interested in finding applications of quantum mechanics in information and computation, as well as expanding quantum mechanics as a physical theory.  

Andrew White, University of Queensland

Dr. White joined the University of Queensland in 1999 from Los Alamos National Laboratory. His PhD research, conducted in Australia and Germany, won the Australian National University’s Medal for best PhD thesis. White’s interests are quantum information, quantum optics, and all aspects of quantum weirdness. 

David Wineland, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Dr. Wineland is the leader of the Ion-Storage Group in the Time and Frequency Division at NIST.  His work on laser cooling has led to significant advancements in physics research, including the development of laser-cooled atomic clocks, which are the state of the art in time and frequency standards. 

Stuart Wolf, University of Virginia

Dr. Wolf is the Director of the University of Virginia Institute for Nanoscale and Quantum Scientific and Technological Advanced Research (nanoSTAR) as well as a Professor in both the Materials Science and Engineering and the Physics departments.  He is known for continuing to push the frontiers in spintronics and quantum information science. 

William K. Wootters, Williams College

Dr. Wootters is the Barclay Jermain Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Physics Department at Williams College.  He has made significant contributions to quantum information theory and quantum teleportation. Over the years he has been a visiting researcher at the Santa Fe Institute, the University of Montreal and the IBM Watson Research Center. 

Anton Zeilinger, University of Vienna

Dr. Zeilinger has worked in top level universities and research centres around the world. In 1997, he and his colleagues confirmed aspects of quantum teleportation by teleporting light particles. He has received more than 20 awards and honorary doctorates for his work, including the Isaac Newton medal. 

Wojciech Zurek, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Dr. Zurek is currently a Laboratory Fellow in the Theory Division and a former J. Robert Oppenheimer Fellow at Los Alamos.  He is also a foreign associate of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).  He is best known for his work in quantum information and decoherence. 

Winner of the Prix Audace (Audacity Prize) and Other Awards

In October 2009, The Quantum Tamers premiered in Europe at the Pariscience International Film Festival  and won the prestigious Prix Audace (the Audacity Prize) for best originality in subject matter and treatment. Grand Jury member Jozée Sarrazin commented, “The Quantum Tamers reinvents the scientific documentary.” The program went on to premiere in the USA at the New York United Film Festival, win Best of Show for TV feature documentary at The Accolades in California, and garner the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at the DC Independent Film Festival in Washington.

The Quantum Tamers is also recipient of a Golden Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. The judges felt the film "demonstrated excellent and outstanding filmmaking and is deserving of special recognition". Most recently, it was nominated for two Gemini awards for excellence in Canadian television: Best Science, Technology, Nature, Environment or Adventure Documentary Program and Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program or Series.


Seeing The Quantum Tamers In Canada, The Quantum Tamers premiered at the Quantum to Cosmos Festival and airs on TVO. Internationally, the documentary was chosen as "MIP Pick" at RealScreen in Washington, 2009, and was subsequently released to broadcasters at MIPCOM in Cannes, France. Though still early in the distribution process, The Quantum Tamers is set to air in Denmark, Italy, the Middle East, North Africa, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden with many other areas to come. Interested broadcasters should contact the distribution firm of Electric Sky for a screener.     For teachers, schools, libraries and other education-related groups, the program is available in DVD format via Films Media Group. The Quantum Tamers is a co-production of Canada's Perimeter Institute and Title Entertainment.           

About Perimeter Institute         Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is an independent, non-profit, scientific research and educational outreach organization where international scientists cluster to push the limits of our understanding of physical laws and develop new ideas about the very essence of space, time, matter and information. The centre provides a multi-disciplinary environment to foster scientific collaboration in research areas of cosmology, particle physics, quantum foundations, quantum gravity, quantum information, superstring theory, and related disciplines. Located in Waterloo, Ontario, PI also provides a wide array of award-winning outreach activities in order to share the share the joy of research, discovery and innovation.  In partnership with the Governments of Ontario and Canada, Perimeter Institute continues to be a successful example of private and public collaboration in science research and education.  A full history is available at Media inquiries can be directed to Lisa Lambert, PI Manager of External Relations & Public Affairs, [email protected], 519.569.7600 x5051.             
About Title Entertainment         Title Entertainment Inc. is an integrated media and entertainment company founded in 2004 by industry veterans Frank Taylor and Dulcie Clark. Title develops, produces, and exploits carefully selected properties over the full array of media platforms and is active in animation, documentaries, dramatic features, and television programs. Inquiries can be directed to Julie Fletcher at [email protected], 613.232.1255 x221. 
About Electric Sky         Electric Sky is a cutting edge, forward thinking, innovative distribution and rights-management company. Specializing in quality factual program distribution, and enjoying a strong reputation in the industry, Electric Sky recently scored a top position among the Top 10 Most Used Distributors in the UK in the recent broadcast survey. Established in 1998, the company continues to grow, with a diverse catalogue featuring over 1000 hours of inspired programming. Click on link for more information.       
About TVO         TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. For more information, visit