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Quantum Voyages

An original performance piece by Smitha Vishveshwara and Latrelle Bright

Produced by: A cast and crew involving a UC San Diego-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign collaboration
Starring UC San Diego Physicists: Monica Allen, Dan Arovas, Ken Intriligator and Yi-Zhuang You
Release Date: June 4, 2020

Quantum Voyages performance at Illinois, April 2018Quantum Voyages performance at Illinois, April 2018

The ensemble confronts terrifying prospects of being Dead and Alive at once, encounter electrons acting as waves, are pelleted by photons, glide through diaphanous orbitals of atoms, precess in Magnetic Resonant Imaging machines, levitate above superconducting surfaces, and navigate disordered quantum terrains within complex materials. In moments of strife, physicists make guest appearances as quantum sages who save the day with their insights. The two voyagers emerge awakened to the miniscule scapes within us and the affirmation that things are never what they seem.

 

Performance Video

Media Mentions

Quantum Voyages performance at Illinois, April 2018Quantum Voyages performance at Illinois, April 2018

Quantum Voyages is a science-based performance piece that explores key topics in the realms of quantum physics foundations, condensed matter, and ultracold atomic gases.  Its fantastical plotline is designed to make the content accessible to audience inclusive of ages 5 to 105 and to instill awe and wonder for the mysterious world within us. The piece was created by physicist Smitha Vishveshwara and theater-maker Latrelle Bright, both based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Featuring a diverse a cast of artists, physicists and students, it is a true confluence of the sciences and the arts. It premiered in 2018 at Nobel Laureate Anthony Leggett’s 80th celebration and the Beckman Institute,UIUC. In 2019, it featured as a public event at the American Physical Society March meeting in Boston.

As an inaugural Margaret Burbidge Visiting Professor at UC San Diego (UCSD), Dr. Vishveshwara brings Quantum Voyages to San Diego in collaboration with Latrelle Bright, a UIUC-UCSD based production team, UC San Diego physicists, and UC San Diego's Research Communications Program.The production was set for a live performance at the QualComm Institute, UC San Diego and at UC Santa Barbara at the end of May. But the team has had to creatively adapt to a virtual platform due to the challenges of COVID-19, transforming the performance to a unique film-based genre that is a testimony to the enduring power of the arts and sciences.

APS Physics News: A Journey Through Quantum Space and Time

Illinois News Bureau: Interdisciplinary theater piece gives glimpse into world of quantum physics

Credits

Production Team

Creative and Scientific Director – Smitha Vishveshwara 
Performance Director – Latrelle Bright 
Guest appearances and monologues by physicists Monica Allen • Daniel Arovas • Kenneth Intriligator • Yi-Zhuang You 

Cast

AKASH Michael Highman 
SAPIENZA Lily Newton 
TERRA Charlee Amacher 
QUANTUM ENSEMBLE  Mario Jesus Arambula-Damian   • Diego Castro • Christopher Hutchinson • Levani Korganashvili • Suthe Mani • Angelynne Pawaan •  Sofia Zaragoza
Production Manager Levani Korganashvili
Videographer Nic Morse
Visual Effects Nic Morse• Tianshu Zhao
Original music  Levani Korganashvili • Sandhya Sivakumar 

Special thanks to Cynthia Dillon, Kim Rubinstein and Sherry Seethaler

Supported by

Department of Physics, Research Communication Program, and the Division of Physical Sciences, UC San Diego
Department. of Physics, Department of Theater, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Margaret Burbidge Visiting Professorship, Heising-Simons Foundation