Segments in this Video

Classical Physics (01:18)


Newton's contribution to physics was the notion that the world is fundamentally predictable. James Clark Maxwell showed that electricity and magnetism could be summarized with just a few mathematical equations.

Quantum Age of Physics (01:22)

Max Planck launched the world into the quantum age of physics. He wanted to know why objects changed color when they were heated. He proposed a new mathematical hypothesis to explain the phenomenon.

Max Planck and Albert Einstein (01:05)

The first person to take Max Planck's hypothesis seriously was a patent office clerk named Albert Einstein. Einstein discovered that light is not a continuous wave--wave particle duality. Quanta of light are called photons.

Niels Bohr and Quantum Physics (00:54)

In 1913, Niels Bohr begins to fill in the quantum picture by explaining the structure of atoms using mathematical equations.

Discovery of Quantum Theory (01:08)

A French physicist first explains atomic orbits. What was needed was a theory that could explain why a wave could act like a particle.

Double-Slit Experiment (01:18)

Dr. Stephen Hawking explains the Double-Slit Experiment, which demonstrates the inseparability of the wave and particle natures of light and other quantum particles.

Demonstration of Double-Slit Experiment (01:03)

The double-split experiment shows the interference pattern. Electrons accumulate in some places, but not in others.

Classical vs. Quantum Physics (00:58)

In classical physics one can predict the velocities and positions of particles. In quantum theory, it is not possible to predict either one.

Quantum Physics: Observation (01:12)

In order to observe electrons in an experiment, it is necessary to shine light on them. Photons make the electrons behave differently--they act like particles.

Quantum Superposition Principle (01:13)

The superposition principle is the addition of the amplitudes of waves from interference. It occurs when an object simultaneously "possesses" two or more values for an observable quantity.

Schrodinger’s Cat Experiment (01:28)

Schrodinger's Cat is a thought experiment that attempts to illustrate the incompleteness of the theory of quantum mechanics when going from subatomic to macroscopic systems.

ERP Paradox (02:00)

In quantum mechanics, the EPR paradox is a thought experiment that challenged long-held ideas about the relation between the observed values of physical quantities and the values that can be accounted for by a physical theory.

Quantum Mechanics (01:16)

According to quantum mechanics, it is possible for two particles to form a single system in which neither particle has a quantum state of its own. Einstein calls this "spooky action at a distance."

Entanglement Theory (01:11)

Einstein believed that the world should ultimately be knowable. Quantum mechanics defies this notion. Schrodinger's entanglement theory describes what happens with a pair of quantum systems in an entangled state.

Irish Physicist John Bell (01:28)

A simple explanation of entanglement is not possible. It was John Bell who investigated quantum theory in the greatest depth and established what the theory reveals about the fundamental nature of the physical world.

Physicist's Experiment (02:01)

Irish physicist John Bell first elucidated the entanglement phenomenon. A physicist explains Bell's experiment that demonstrates special relativity.

Photon Proof of Entanglement (01:16)

Bell's experiment proves that two photons 12 meters apart still behave as a single, whole object. This demonstrates Einstein's "spooky action at a distance."

Stephen Hawking on Einstein (01:06)

Stephen Hawking argues that Einstein could not understand the difference between classic and quantum theory. He found it difficult to accept the "uncertainty principle."

Quantum Mechanics: Light and Matter (01:25)

Quantum mechanics provides an accurate description of the behavior of light and matter. The second quantum revolution has arrived.

Physical Nature of Information (01:16)

Hard discs are the physical manifestations of information. Do the laws of physics constrain how information can be processed, or does it provide a completely new mechanism for processing and communicating information.

Bit: Unit of Information (00:60)

A "bit" is a fundamental unit of classical information. It is encapsulated into a physical system that can have two states: on or off, a zero or a one.

Quantum Bits (01:05)

Technologies are approaching the boundaries of quantum information, and transistors are approaching the size of a quantum bit (qbit).

Atomic Clocks and Quantum Computers (01:07)

One of the accomplishments of the second quantum revolution is the ability for physicists to build "incredibly" precise tools such as the atomic clock. Quantum computers will perform certain tasks exponentially faster.

Quantum Computer Memory (01:18)

Quantum computers are based on the fact that the random state of the computer memory contains much more information than its classical description. These computers will contain quantum bits.

Quantum Simulations (01:24)

Quantum simulations will allow physicists to learn how to control quantum bits. For example, a quantum computer might design superconductors or new drugs.

Quantum Mechanics and Sensors (01:40)

Quantum mechanics allows scientists to sense things such as mercury in fish, lead in toys, and more. Quantum mechanics make sensors more robust and precise.

Quantum Computers and Factoring (01:07)

Quantum computers, which are not a reality yet, could factor 400-digit numbers in virtually no time. With today's computers, that is nearly an impossible task. A quantum computer could break every encryption code.

Quantum Cryptography (01:07)

Quantum codes would provide a super-secret way to keep information private. It would be impossible to break quantum encryption only if it were possible to break the laws of physics.

Quantum Teleportation (00:41)

The most fantastical and mind-bending application of quantum mechanics is quantum teleportation. Matter would not be teleported. Quantum information would be transmitted from point to point.

Teleportation Experiment (02:00)

Quantum teleportation is a "beautiful" demonstration of entanglement.

Theoretical Model of Quantum Computer (01:22)

What would it take to build a quantum computer? The principles of building a quantum computer are clear. So far, no one knows how to translate the principles into real hardware.

Quantum Computer: Isolation (01:03)

A primary challenge with a quantum computer is the need to keep it completely isolated. Any contact with other quantum particles would change its behavior.

Atoms in Superposition (01:17)

In a quantum computer, ions would need to be "trapped." An analogy with marbles in a bowl demonstrates that particles are in a superposition state. Schrodinger's Cat demonstrates the same principle.

Quantum Computer: What Would It Look Like? (00:51)

What might a quantum computer look like? It could be made of very powerful magnet made of superconducting material bathed in liquid helium at -266 degrees Celsius.

Science: Discovery and Innovation (01:03)

Scientists push the limits of experiments and theory, from blackboard to lab. They are laying the foundations for a new era of discovery and innovation.

Application of Quantum Mechanics (01:08)

Like the laser that evolved from a big machine to an inexpensive semiconductor in every CD or DVD player. An entangled photon source has more markets for its application than it would be possible to serve.

Future of Quantum Mechanics (00:48)

In the future, superconducting transmission lines could function as the backbone for energy transmission. Renewable energy sources would be easy to engineer.

Quantum Mechanics: Transformation of Technology (00:52)

The world is "taking off into the quantum future." Quantum mechanics has the potential to change all current technology known to humankind.

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

The Quantum Tamers: Revealing Our Weird and Wired Future

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Beginning with a condensed history of classical and quantum physics to contextualize the current state of quantum science, this highly visual program takes viewers to the frontiers of quantum computation. Wave-particle duality, entanglement and superposition, the EPR Paradox, Schrödinger’s Cat, the famous double-slit experiment, and the “noisy observer effect” flash by like road markers on this high-speed journey to the realm of quantum teleportation, quantum cryptography, and quantum computing. Stephen Hawking and 18 other quantum visionaries provide clear and insightful explanations in this clever and sophisticated introduction to an extremely complex subject—and exciting preview of our weird and wired future!


Participating scientists include Dorit Aharonov, Alain Aspect, David Cory, Joseph Emerson, Nicolas Gisin, Daniel Gottesman, Lucien Hardy, Stephen Hawking, Raymond Laflamme, Seth Lloyd, Gerard Milburn, Peter Shor, Barbara Terhal, Andrew White, David Wineland, Stuart Wolf, William K. Wootters, Anton Zeilinger, and Wojciech Zurek.


(52 minutes)

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL41312

ISBN: 978-1-61616-655-7

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards



“Fast-paced and full of whiz-bang graphics, this program offers a lighthearted introduction to a complicated subject. Recommended.” —Video Librarian


Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary,  Washington DC Independent Film Festival (2010) 


Official opening film for the 2010 Washington DC Independent Film Festival


Prix Audace Award Winner at the 2009 Pariscience International Science Film Festival


Best of Show: Feature Documentary, 2009 Accolade Competition, La Jolla, California


“Takes us into the minds of some of the world’s most brilliant scientists to reveal some of the magic and mystery behind quantum physics…. File under scintillating science.”  —realscreen: the best in nonfiction


realscreen magazine 2009 MIPTV Pick (Science/Nature)


Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.