Quantum on the Clock

School students: can you explain quantum science or technology in a 3-minute video?

And your three minutes start ... now!

Physicist Richard Feynman once said "I can safely say that nobody really understands quantum mechanics" - can you help us prove him wrong? We challenge you to create a three-minute video about any aspect of quantum science or technology, that a High School student can understand.

Watch Quantum PhD student Maria Violaris give a video summary of the competition:

Scroll down to find out about the competition organisers (IOP QQQ group) and sponsors:

Quantum? Is that the thing with the cat?

Yes! Schrödinger's cat is a popular quantum thought experiment. Some systems such as tiny particles show quantum behaviour, where they can be in two places at once, called a superposition of states. Erwin Schrödinger pointed out that if cats can also be quantum, then they can be dead and alive at the same time.

But there's lots more to quantum than cats and superpositions! The electronics in the phone or computer that you are reading this webpage on rely on quantum mechanics. People are racing to build quantum computers - which can perform many calculations at once. Quantum particles have been sent to space on satellites to enable ultra-secure quantum communication. There are experiments to show quantum teleportation, and debates about whether there are many quantum universes.

The  laws of Quantum on the Clock

  1. Create a video on any aspect of quantum science or technology, that is no longer than 3 minutes.
  2. You can submit your video individually or in a team of up to four.
  3. The video must be accurate, and if the chosen topic is controversial or under debate, then this should be mentioned in the video.
  4. The video should not promote a particular company or organisation, though they can be mentioned as examples of e.g. who is implementing a quantum technology. 
  5. The video can be in any format! It could be a single person or a group of people talking to the camera; a drama; visuals and animation; song, poetry or dance; or something else... all creativity is welcome. 


The competition is open to students in the UK and Ireland, in their final two years of pre-university education. This includes A-level, International Baccalaureate, Scottish Higher and Advanced Higher (S5 and S6), Irish Senior Cycle, or equivalent courses.

We strongly encourage submissions from students with all backgrounds that are underrepresented in the physics community.

If you are not eligible for the competition, but think quantum sounds cool anyway - check out our collection of online quantum resources for some fun quantum reading.


Submissions for the competition are now OPEN!
You can submit your entry now using the form on this IOP QQQ group webpage.  

The extended deadline for the competition is 5pm on Friday 8th July 2022. This has been extended from the previous deadline of 31st March 2022.

To get updates about the competition, you can follow @qqq_iop on Twitter.


The winners and runners-up of the competition will all receive cash prizes, with the team cash prizes being shared between the team members.

The winners of "Best individual" and "Best team" prizes will also receive a 1-year subscription to Physics World and an expenses-paid invitation to a prize-giving event at the Photon 2022 conference dinner, with the opportunity to network with expert quantum researchers at a major UK conference. 

One representative from each winning entry for the Sponsor prizes will also be invited to the prize-giving event (if the winning entry is a team, they can choose one representative). 

In 2022 the conference is taking place in Nottingham, 30th August to 2nd September.

The prizes available are:

Best individual video

1-year Physics World subscription, prize-giving event invitation 


Best team video

1-year Physics World subscription, prize-giving event invitation


National Physical Laboratory Prize 

for most creative video


National Quantum Computing Centre Prize

for best explained video


IBM Quantum Prize

for most engaging video


Oxford Quantum Circuits Prize

for most well-researched video


Universal Quantum Prize

for the best video response to the question "What would you do with a 1-million qubit quantum computer?"


9 Runners-Up Prizes 

for highly commended entries


What would you do with a million-qubit quantum computer?

Submit your video reply for one of our Sponsor prizes! 

Judging criteria


How original is the presentation of the topic?


How understandable is the video to a 16 year old with no knowledge of quantum?


How good is the video at capturing our attention, keeping it, and leaving us with something to think about afterwards?


How well is quantum science and / or technology presented in a well-researched and non-misleading way?


Meet the judges! A fun mix of researchers, leaders and communicators from across the quantum world. 

Dr Merritt Moore has a PhD in quantum physics from the University of Oxford and also pursues a professional ballet career. She has had astronaut training and programs and dances with robots.

Merritt Moore

Quantum Ballerina

Professor Jim Al-Khalili CBE FRS is a science communicator renowned for his public engagement through writing and broadcasting, and a theoretical physicist at the University of Surrey.

Jim Al-Khalili

Physics Broadcaster

Dr Chiara Decaroli is a quantum scientist with a PhD in ion-trap quantum computing. She is the Outreach and Engagement Officer at the National Quantum Computing Centre in Oxfordshire.

Chiara Decaroli

Quantum Scientist

Dr Spiros Michalakis is a mathematical physicist at Caltech and science advisor for Hollywood movies like Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Bill & Ted Face the Music.

Spiros Michalakis

Hollywood Advisor

Anne-Claire Blet is Chief Operating Officer at Oxford Quantum Circuits, building quantum computers to enable life-changing discoveries.

Anne-Claire Blet

Quantum Executive

Professor Vlatko Vedral FInstP leads quantum groups at the University of Oxford and CQT in Singapore. He did pioneering research in entanglement and is author of many books, including "Decoding Reality".

Vlatko Vedral

Quantum Theorist

Campbell Mclauchlan is doing a PhD in quantum computing at the University of Cambridge and creates physics videos, podcasts and blogs.

Campbell McLauchlan

Quantum Researcher

Dr Margaret Harris is an online editor for Physics World magazine and leads the quantum student contributors network, with a PhD in atomic physics from Durham University.

Margaret Harris

Science Journalist

Dr Mithuna Yoganathan has a PhD in quantum computing from the University of Cambridge and runs the "Looking Glass Universe" YouTube channel.

Mithuna Yoganathan

Quantum YouTuber

Dr James Millen is a lecturer in photonics at King's University London. He runs The Quantum Workshop mobile experiment and lectures to the public at the Royal Institution.

James Millen

Quantum Lecturer

Dr Nick Bronn researches quantum computing at IBM Quantum in New York and is a video host for the Qiskit YouTube channel.

Nick Bronn

Quantum Video Host

Professor Mete Atatüre leads a quantum optics research group at the University of Cambridge and co-founded NuQuantum. His many public engagement activities include TEDx talks and TV appearances.

Mete Atatüre

Quantum Founder

Organisation and Sponsorship

This competition is organized by the IOP QQQ group, and it would not be possible without generous support from our quantum sponsors! Here is a bit about who they are (who knows - one might inspire your quantum video...)


The Quantum Optics, Quantum Information and Quantum Control Group is a community of Institute of Physics members focused on quantum science and technology.  

Gold Sponsors

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has over 700 scientists and engineers delivering high accuracy measurements to enable current and future prosperity, security, and scientific advancement for the UK. Our quantum programme is developing the capability to support industrial innovation across quantum technologies for precision timing, sensing, secure communications and computing applications.

The National Quantum Computing Centre seeks to enhance the UK's global leadership in quantum computing, to help translate UK research strengths into innovation, and enable the creation of the first generation of quantum computers. The NQCC is funded through UKRI, and is dedicated to accelerating the development of quantum computing by addressing the challenges of scaling - technological and user adoption.

IBM Quantum is a branch of IBM building quantum computers and software to program them, supporting businesses, developers, researchers and quantum education. Qiskit is an open-source quantum programming language developed by IBM Quantum. 

Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) develops technology that harnesses the power of quantum to do things previously deemed impossible. From enabling life-changing drug discoveries, to unbreakable cryptography. From unleashing the full potential of AI, to unlocking nature's best-kept design secrets. OQC is at the forefront of the quantum revolution which will reshape our world.

Bronze Sponsors

Oxford Ionics are building Quantum Computers which harness the inherent perfection of atoms to solve the world's most important problems. We achieve precision in every dimension by combining the world's highest quality qubits - trapped ions - with our unique noiseless electronic qubit control technology.

The Quantum Computing and Simulation hub (QCS) is a research collaboration between 17 universities, supported by over 25 commercial and governmental organisations. The Hub covers a wide range of areas from hardware and software to core technologies and potential applications, reflecting the many different skills required to transform quantum computing.

If you need a hand getting started...


Click here for some online information you might enjoy. There is lots more information about quantum science and technology, in books, videos, articles and more, out there to explore!


Click here for a few possible ideas to get you thinking, and key words to kickstart your search-engines. 

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We are looking forward to your entries!