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The Schmooze

Paul Rudd Challenges Stephen Hawking in Quantum Chess — and Wins

Paul Rudd beat Stephen Hawking in Quantum chess and changed the world of science forever!

The actor and former Bar-Mitzvah DJ challenges the famous quantum physicist for a dramatic game of quantum chess in this new Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter video, narrated by Keanu Reeves (another quantum physics dabbler in “The Matrix” trilogy).

The winner gets to be a speaker at a January 26 event honoring renowned Jewish physicist Richard Feynman.

Quantum chess is a variant of regular chess, where the pieces have quantum properties, making the game a lot more trip-y and unexpected.

What authority does Rudd have on quantum physics, you (and Hawking) might ask? Well, he did spend quite some time in the quantum realm, in the movie adaptation of Marvel’s “Ant Man.”

Hawking is, of course, unfazed by the challenge, “I will crush you like an ant, man,” he tells Rudd in his trademark mechanical voice.

Rudd prepares with an intensive training session, in which he is seen reading “Chess for Dummies” (and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” for some reason.)

As the game starts, Hawking seems to be headed for a sure win, but, well, Rudd has a few tricks up his sleeves.

“Maybe this guy is not the cubic rube I thought he was,” Hawking admits.

As the battle rages on, celebrity twitter is abuzz, Pontifex tweets at Rudd, “You be with God, son,” when it seems he is about to lose. But then, the tables turn, and in a final dramatic move, Rudd wins.

“Can it be!?” Neil DeGrasse Tyson tweets in the video, “The greatest mind in quantum physics was just taken to school by Brian Fantana [Rudd’s “Anchorman” character].”

“Children that would one day revolutionize physics saw the wall fall,” the apparently time traveling Keanu narrates dramatically, “my present and your future were forever changed.”

Watch the entire, wonderfully geeky video below:


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