Fall 2020

Quantum Information and Quantum Computing

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as PHYS-373

Moodle site: Course


Jonathan R. Friedman (Section 01)


Quantum Mechanics is well known for its counterintuitive and seemingly paradoxical predictions.  Despite its failure to give us a clear, intuitive picture of the world, the theory is remarkably successful at predicting the outcomes of experiments, although those predictions are probabilistic rather than deterministic.  Because of its unparalleled success, the thorny issues about the theory’s foundations were often ignored during its first fifty years.  Recent advances in both theory and experiment have again brought these issues to the fore.  This course will review some of the most interesting and intriguing facets of quantum mechanics and its potential applications to information and computing.  Topics to be covered will include the Schrödinger cat paradox and the quantum measurement problem; Bell’s inequalities, entanglement, and related phenomena that establish the “weirdness” of quantum mechanics; secure communication using quantum cryptography; and how quantum computers (if built) can solve certain problems much more efficiently than classical ones.  We will also explore recent experiments in which quantum phenomena appear on the macroscopic scale, as well as technological progress towards building a large-scale, general-purpose quantum computer. 

The early part of the semester will consist of synchronous and asynchronous lectures with multiple "clicker" questions.  The later part of the course will be taught seminar style with in-depth reading and discussion of research articles.

Requisite: Physics 225. Fall semester. Professor Friedman. 


Attention to Research, Online Only, Quantitative Reasoning


2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020