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GeorgetownX: Quantum Mechanics for Everyone

4.8 stars
6 ratings

Learn the fundamental notions of quantum mechanics at a level that is accessible to everyone. This course is listed as one of the best online courses of all time by Class Central and was a finalist for the 2018 edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions to Online Teaching and Learning.

6 weeks
7–10 hours per week
Instructor-led on a course schedule
This course is archived

About this course

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Quantum Mechanics for Everyone is a six-week long MOOC that teaches the basic ideas of quantum mechanics with a method that requires no complicated math beyond taking square roots (and you can use a calculator for that). Quantum theory is taught without “dumbing down” any of the material, giving you the same version experts use in current research. We will cover the quantum mystery of the two-slit experiment and advanced topics that include how to see something without shining light on it (quantum seeing in the dark) and bunching effects of photons (Hong-Ou-Mandel effect).

To get a flavor for the course and see if it is right for you, watch "Let's get small", which shows you how poorly you were taught what an atom looks like, and "The fallacy of physics phobia."

Please note : the modules of this course will be released on a weekly basis from October 11, 2020 to November 22, 2020, when all the course material will be available in the archive mode.


edX Prize Finalist 2018

At a glance

  • Institution: GeorgetownX
  • Subject: Math
  • Level: Introductory
  • Prerequisites:

    High school algebra and a desire to learn about bizarre but real phenomena

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills:Physics, Online Teaching, Experimentation, Quantum Mechanics, Mechanics, Atom (Processor)

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Understand what a quantum particle is in the world of the ultrasmall
  • Learn the basics of probability theory
  • Discover what spin is and how it is manipulated by magnets
  • Explain what the quantum mystery is
  • Apply quantum ideas to understand partial reflection of light, interaction-free measurements, and particle indistinguishability

1. Introduction to the Quantum World
- Introduction
- Classical mechanics of moving magnets in a magnetic field
- Probability
- Quantum Probability

2. Advanced Quantum Mechanics with Spins
- Stern-Gerlach analyzer-loop
- Analog of the two-slit experiment
- Wheeler’s delayed choice experiment
- Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen
- Bell’s inequality
- NMR and MRI

3. The Quantum Mechanics of Light
- Wave or particle?
- Exploring the quantum model for light
- Developing the quantum model for light
- Understanding the quantum mystery
- Applications of the quantum theory of light

4. Advanced Quantum Ideas with Light
- Introduction to quantum seeing in the dark
- Mach-Zehnder Interferometer
- The Quantum Zeno Effect Quantum Seeing in the Dark
- Identical particles and the Hong-Ou-Mandel experiment

Learner testimonials

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"The course is extremely well made. The videos and step by step didactic lessons are exactly what I needed for the type of brain I have. I understand things when I can visualize and or at least bring abstraction into applied experiments. This course is full of that. "

"The course tries to explain quantum mechanics without a lot of math, specifically without calculus. The professor does this explanation using clever models and short apps with which the students can interact. It is a very effective method and reduces the mystery of quantum mechanics. No one can explain quantum mechanics in a way that humans can truly understand it but this course does an exceptional job of providing more intuition into quantum mechanics, especially for those without calculus."

"I thoroughly enjoyed "Quantum Mechanics for Everyone". This must be the best introductory course to any advanced physics topic that I have taken or seen. "

Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What level of math is needed for this class?

A: High school algebra and trigonometry.

Q: Is a textbook needed for this class?

A: No.

Q: Can I really learn Quantum Mechanics this way?

A: Yes, you will learn the conceptual ideas underlying quantum mechanics possibly better than undergraduate physics majors.

Q: Is this a college-level class?

A: Yes.

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