Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computation

A simple conceptual introduction to quantum mechanics and quantum computation.

About The Course

*Note - This is an Archived course*

This is a past/archived course. At this time, you can only explore this course in a self-paced fashion. Certain features of this course may not be active, but many people enjoy watching the videos and working with the materials. Make sure to check for reruns of this course.

Quantum computation is a remarkable subject building on the great computational discovery that computers based on quantum mechanics are exponentially powerful. This course aims to make this cutting-edge material broadly accessible to undergraduate students, including computer science majors who do not have any prior exposure to quantum mechanics. The course starts with a simple introduction to the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics using the concepts of qubits (or quantum bits) and quantum gates. This treatment emphasizes the paradoxical nature of the subject, including entanglement, non-local correlations, the no-cloning theorem and quantum teleportation. The course covers the fundamentals of quantum algorithms, including the quantum fourier transform, period finding, Shor's quantum algorithm for factoring integers, as well as the prospects for quantum algorithms for NP-complete problems. It also discusses the basic ideas behind the experimental realization of quantum computers, including the prospects for adiabatic quantum optimization and the D-Wave controversy.

Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.

Recommended Background

A strong background in basic linear algebra, including vectors, matrices, complex numbers, inner products, eigenvalues and eigenvectors (a simple diagnostic quiz will help you assess your... see more...