Quantum Mysteries for Everyone

COLL-C 105 — Fall 2021

Amit Hagar
Course Description

Quantum theory is the best theory we have of microscopic things, but it is also extremely hard to understand what exactly the theory is saying. We will begin this course by describing a few simple quantum experiments to see just why the theory is so strange, and then we will begin to look more closely at the formalism of the theory and at the philosophical puzzles raised by its interpretations. After suggesting several solutions, we shall adopt a more instrumental view, on which these puzzles may be considered an important resource that, if harnessed, may have some surprising implications on the way we manipulate information and perform computations. Along the way, we will learn how to think critically and carefully about science and scientific theories, and how to approach a given problem from several different philosophical angles. The course will have both lecture and discussion. There will be weekly writing assignments of 1 page each (30%), three small quizzes (30%), a group project (20%) and a final multiple-choice exam (20%). The final exam is a necessary requirement for the final grade. It will be waived for the 2 students with the best group presentation! 


Class will have both lectures and discussion sessions. In the first 8 weeks the lectures will asynchronously online. Fully in person schedule will resume for the last 8 weeks