We used to believe light was a wave, then we discovered it had the properties of a particle that we call a photon. Now we know it, like all elementary quantum objects, is both a wave and a particle!
Schrödinger dreamed up a cat that, thanks to quantum physics, is half-alive and half-dead. Einstein worried about spooky action at a distance. Now Google is trying to build a quantum computer and we can communicate secretly using quantum particles. This is not even a century of progress in quantum physics. It sounds like science fiction, but that’s your job. We invite you to pick up the threads of this story and tell a new tale.
Surprise us. Thrill us. Move us. Entertain us. Take inspiration from quantum theory to write flash fiction: a story no longer than 1000 words. Visit our inspiration pages for help getting started. You have until 11:59:59 PM ET on 1 December 2015 to enter.
Clara Moskowitz is Scientific American's senior editor covering space and physics. She has a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics from Wesleyan University and a graduate degree in science journalism from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining Scientific American, she worked for Space.com, Wired, Discover magazine and the American Museum of Natural History.