Online science publication prepares to launch

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The Quantum Cat’s new logo.
Designed by Daniel Szewczyk.

Although Townsend Harris specializes in the Humanities, starting this month students will be able to express their love for other subjects through the school’s online science newspaper, The Quantum Cat.

With science teacher Phillip Porzio as their advisor, members of The Quantum Cat plan to publish articles monthly on the Internet and are considering printing a year end magazine with a compilation of the website’s best articles. In addition to the typical branches of science, articles will cover topics such as Health, Pseudoscience, Historical Science, Technology, and opinions on scientific findings.

Editor-in-chief Yarim Lee (junior) and Mr. Porzio decided to revamp The Quantum Cat last May in order to emphasize the interdependency between science and humanities and increase the balance between the two subjects in school.  The Quantum Cat was once a student-run science magazine that published a print edition once a year. Overseen by science teacher Katherine Cooper, it stopped publishing in late 2011.

In addition to bringing more science to THHS, members of the Quantum Cat hope to make complex science more interesting and comprehensible for students.

“Hearing about ‘dynamical decoupling in quantum computing’ in the New York Times alienates younger readers, just as hearing about how ‘there was trouble in space over the weekend’ in Time For Kids alienates more knowledgeable readers,” said Neil Chen, an admin of the site. “The Quantum Cat tries to establish a middle ground between the two.”

Members of The Quantum Cat were busy over the summer.  In July, staff writers submitted over forty articles for the new site.

Despite having to commit to working over the summer, junior Mansha Sadh enjoyed writing articles.

“It’s been amazing working on The Quantum Cat because not only do we get to know the latest news on important topics, but we can also learn from them as well.”

During the year, members of The Quantum Cat also hope to raise money through fundraising to improve the website and to make the magazine a reality. They have already planned designs for merchandise.

Nonetheless, the publication is still developing, with its system of staffing and submitting articles likely to change.

“Once the new school year starts, The Quantum Cat will go into a mass scramble to promote, fundraise, and launch the new website,” said admin Ian Sun, junior.  “Also the hierarchy system will be established, so positions such as treasurer will be elected.”

Despite being in its early stages of development, sophomore Marcus Barbu, the site’s web developer, sees success for the publication.

“Our writers are top notch and our editors are more than competent,” he said.

The publication was named after Schrodinger’s Cat (nicknamed the “Quantum Cat”), which was the subject of a  renowned theoretical experiment that used the paradoxes of quantum physics to explain how a cat can be dead and alive simultaneously. Referring to this, Neil said, “Ultimately, the newspaper is going to be whatever its readers and contributors want. We have both parties to thank for The Quantum Cat’s existence…or lack of existence.”

Students can visit the Quantum Cat’s official website for further updates.

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