Quantum Objects

Explore the bizarre behavior of quantum objects and the impact they have on modern technology.

Why Quantum?

Classical Expectations

Quantum Surprises


Measurement and Memory

Color Space

Bras and Kets

Playing with Basis Sets

Unavoidable Complexity

The Collapse of the State Vector

Operators and Observables

Commuting Observables

The Photon Catastrophe

Particles and Waves

Wide Open Spaces

Squeezing Measurements

Schrödinger's Equation

The Classical Limit

Course description

The principles of quantum mechanics came from investigating microscopic phenomena; the bizarre behavior of quantum objects like atoms and elementary particles that often appear to contradict classical mechanics and probability. In this course you'll explore experiments of quantum objects and use them to construct new equations of motion, new laws of physics, and a new system of measurement based not on numbers, but on algebras. By the end, you’ll gain a new appreciation for how the physics of the small enables lasers, transistors and other modern technologies that define our world. Then you'll be ready to dive into the ongoing revolution of quantum information and computing.

Topics covered

  • Braket Notation
  • Hilbert Spaces
  • Interference
  • Observables
  • Operators
  • Photons
  • Quantum Measurement
  • Schrodinger Equation
  • Spin
  • Uncertainty Principles
  • Vector Spaces

Prerequisites and next steps

A basic understanding of linear algebra, including matrix multiplication and how to solve linear systems. The fundamentals of calculus and differential equations would be useful, but are not required.


  • Introduction to Probability
  • Introduction to Linear Algebra