The seeds of the first quantum revolution were planted over a hundred years ago, with the emergence of a new “quantum” theory pioneered by Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, and Schrödinger among others. The pioneers struggled with the theory initially and couldn’t possibly have foreseen how quantum theory would revolutionise our daily lives. About halfway through the 20th century, with the dawn of the first quantum revolution, quantum theory led to the invention of transistors [1] and semiconductor chips, which gave birth to all electronics we see around us, including computers and smartphones.

The seeds of the second quantum revolution were planted towards the end of the 20th century [2]. The “quantum computers” of today represent its early flowers at the cusp of bearing the first fruits of the second revolution. However, just like the first time, we cannot possibly foresee how this will truly revolutionise our lives in the decades to come, be it healthcare and medicine, energy and environment, food and agriculture, banking and security, transportation and space, or anything else that will transform our daily lives in unimaginable ways. In these exciting times, India cannot afford to stay on the sidelines but instead must be a leading force driving the second quantum revolution.

For millennia, the Indian subcontinent has been the source of just that: scientific revolutions and breakthroughs. To date, the teachings of great Indian science scholars are imparted all over the world, be it the in-depth treatise on human anatomy and medicine by Charaka, the contributions in astronomy and mathematics by Aryabhatta, or the invention of calculus many centuries before Newton and Leibniz by Madhava and his pupils [3]. With the National Quantum Mission approved in April 2023, India has taken a step toward catalysing India’s contribution towards the second quantum revolution, by budgeting over Rs 6,000 crores towards research in quantum technologies over the next eight years [4].

However, long-term success and sustenance of even large-scale scientific research are not guaranteed unless India invests in science awareness to bring its populace along on the same page. It is particularly relevant in this Internet Age, where scientific content and resources available to the public are either too technical and full of jargon that hinders understanding or oversimplified at the cost of accuracy leading to misconceptions and sometimes even falsehoods. Both detract from the scientific literacy of the country. Indians from a science background are responsible for creating awareness and ensuring the growth of science literacy among the public. There is a need to create credible, approachable, and digestible content that helps the non-expert public understand the basics of various sciences.

Writing science

Science writers and communicators need to actively bring science to the public, rather than wait for the public to come to seek them. Moreover, the content needs to be tailored to the demographic being targeted. The authors of this article plan to tackle these issues and bring the second quantum revolution to the Indian public, in the form of a science graphic novel that demystifies quantum mechanics and quantum computing, without using mathematical equations and relying cleverly on a memorable storyline and a well-researched analogy with the game of cricket!

The genesis of this idea came about as a new recipe with all the necessary ingredients coming together in a perfect storm. One of us (Sarthak Parikh), a theoretical physicist at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, was toying with ways of teaching quantum theory and quantum computing to audiences with progressively more and more basic levels of academic backgrounds. The other (Kush Dhebar) is an archaeologist and an author who specifically writes comics and graphic novels on Indian culture, and presently consults with the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Haryana.

When the Foundation for Advancing Science and Technology in India (FAST India) unveiled the India Science Book Fellowship (ISBF) which aims to enhance the public appreciation of science by supporting and catalysing a stream of nonfiction science books, we combined our forces for the second time (the first being a history project on Harappa in middle school about two decades ago) and came up with the book proposal on a timely subject. We have named the book Do and Die: A Game of Quantum Cricket. Our team was judged one of the winners of the 2023-24 India Science Book Fellowship programme by FAST India.

Book fellowships such as ISBF are important as they enable scientists and science communicators to create popular science books that are accessible to a greater and wider audience, by giving them the necessary financial aid, mentorship support, and valuable connections with various industry experts and leading publishing houses. This allows authors such as us to create well-researched and high-quality books that could inspire a wider audience with the joys of science and bring them on the same page as the scientists and the scientific aspirations of this country – a necessary stepping stone if India hopes to become a world leader in scientific research.


  1. Nobel Prize in Physics 1956 citation summary.

  2. Quantum Computing 40 years later, by John Preskill, Chapter 7 of Feynman Lectures on Computation.

  3. A Passage to Infinity: Medieval Indian Mathematics from Kerala and Its Impact, by George Gheverghese Joseph.

  4. National Quantum Mission.