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Quantum Mechanics for Everyone

Georgetown University via edX

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Overview

Quantum Mechanics for Everyone is a four-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 four sections of this course will be released on a weekly basis from April 18, 2017 to May 9, 2017, when all the course material will be available and the course will become fully self-paced.

 

Syllabus

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

Taught by

James Freericks

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Reviews for edX's Quantum Mechanics for Everyone
5.0 Based on 52 reviews

  • 5 stars 96%
  • 4 stars 4%
  • 3 star 0%
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  • 1
Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I took this course last year because I wanted to have a better understanding of Quantum Mechanics and to measure its content to what I thought I knew about it. First off, 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. It gave me a basic, but clear and strong understanding of what quantum physics is and how it serves many purposes in our everyday life. It is no longer this sort …
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William C
5.0 5 months ago
by William completed this course.
An outstanding course. The instructor guaranteed that there would be no lies about QM, that there would be no over-simplifications, and he lived up to that guarantee. This course is not the usual mathematical, bra-ket approach. Instead, it takes a physical approach. Magnetic and light phenomena are discussed, mostly in the context of the two-slit experiment. The math content is not at all difficult yet it employs the Feynman approach of looking at all the ways that an outcome can occur and then combining them coherently, squaring the length, and getting a probability for the event. The subtleties of how the presence/absence/partial presence of which-way info affects the analysis of outcomes and probabilities is treated in an accurate yet intuitive way. The course clearly explains quite sophisticated QM phenomena while still using elementary ideas. A remarkable feat!
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Jonathan P
5.0 5 months ago
by Jonathan completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
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. Thank you to Professor Freericks and the team for all the time and effort that obviously went into creating this course, with its videos and interactive tutorials/simulations. Even the final exam was fun - helping to consolidate many of the ideas taught in the course. Anyone interested in quantum mechanics should try this course, and as long as you have taken maths up to high school level you should be fine with the small amount of maths in the course.
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Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I would recommend this course to any aspiring physicist or interested person. It truly was an incredibly beneficial experience. As a Turkish high school student willing to be a physicist, this course masterfully taught the foundation of my future studies. It is very apparent from every aspect of the course that a lot of hard work was invested in its creation. From simulations to lectures, questions to further readings every material is thought-provoking, exciting, and uniquely presented. This course should be obligatory education in high school and any support in helping create similar courses in the future is extremely well-deserved. I thank all who have contributed to this project.
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Tom R
5.0 5 months ago
by Tom completed this course.
I completed this course number of months ago and found it was very interesting. 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 does an exceptional job of providing more intuition into quantum mechanics, especially for those without calculus - thus, it's for everyone.
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Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
The course is wonderful. The course requires a certain willpower to continue after starting but the course content is so wonderfully designed that it treats the exact next thoughts that occur naturally after reading or doing an experiment. The simulations are also wonderfully designed. And Prof. Freericks has given simple explanation without dumbing anything down. That is not so easy to do but he has done exactly that. I am very grateful to him for creating this awesome course. When I understood something I literally jumped up and down with excitement.
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Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
The course is very good in every aspect. Students just need to be patient as the course explains everything in great details through the videos, reading notes, questions and the computer based tutorials. The computer based tutorials are excellent as it shows complicated concepts visually and in a simulation manner through a step by step approach. I highly recommend this excellent course for everyone who is interested in this subject. I look forward to more in-depth courses from the professor and the development team. Thank you very much.
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Anonymous
5.0 4 months ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
This is an amazing course. Besides the obvious fact that the topic is very interesting, the course is very well conducted. The course has online simulations that let you play in the 'quantum world' from your chair while having a cup of coffee and thinking about what all this means. Further, the instructor is very active in the forum (this does not happen very often in online courses). I would add that the course offers the right combination of reading, watching lectures and interacting with simulations. Highly recommended!!!
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Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I am a physician, not a physicist, and I find this course amazing. Without much maths, I managed to follow this course, completed all the quizzes and exercises and passed the final exams.

The various concepts of quantum mechanics were explained brilliantly. The videos explaining those concepts were brilliant. l

A highly recommended course for anyone who has no physics back ground but had wanted to understand quantum mechanics.
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Pat L
5.0 5 months ago
by Pat completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Fabulous course! I'm a professional in an unrelated field, but for years I've wanted to learn more about quantum mechanics. In the past, the materials I've found have been either too superficial, or I didn't have the math background to follow them. This course turned that around! Professor Freericks has designed a course that is both challenging and accessible -- with work! I came away with a better understanding of the quantum world, and a desire to take more of his courses.
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Ashoo S
5.0 5 months ago
Ashoo partially completed this course.
The web apps used (Stern Gerlach analyser, The probability calculator) are awesome and provide a reality to the theory. I have studies quantum mechanics as a student and it all starts with the schrodinger equation and goes on to build more abstract concept which one can not question initially. But this course never left the ground and I very like the perspective taken by the teacher to describe interference. And the probability section is supercool.
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Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous audited this course.
Excellent course. Complex topics explained in simple, easy to follow manner. The simulations were a perfect way to complement the lectures and written explanations. My formal education was completed over 35 years ago and I now take the free courses available via edX as brain exercises. This is the best course ever for that purpose. I hope the follow-on course will be available soon; I am looking forward to it.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
The course provides for a non-physics educated engineer an interesting picture of quantum mechanics. The course is very well provided with examples and animations and the lectures are built up in such a way that each lesson increases the appetite for the next one.

I followed several MOOC's, but this is the best one, closely followed by the courses on astrophysics by ANU, in which some understanding of quantum mechanics became very useful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous audited this course.
Great course!

Well organized and structured.

It's clear that much careful thought went into its development. It covers all the basics using a combination of text, videos and demonstrations/tutorials. These latter are beautifully designed, executed and easy to use by the student. They take the novice step-by-step through the various experiments and results.

Looking forward to a sequel!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Obaseki O
5.0 5 months ago
by Obaseki partially completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Course is well designed, great Discussion forum, quick and insightful replies to questions, Don't give up, after a while and with some practice you'll start to understand and get used to the concepts. sooo.. many virtual labs to help you with that believe me the course is just wonderful!!!!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous partially completed this course.
This course is very well designed for its intended purpose. Step-by-(simple) step, it builds intuition that makes subsequent content more readily accessible. It is well worth the time, especially for those whose math experience doesn't stretch to higher levels.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
As a person with some knowledge of maths, but nothing advanced, I found this course challenging, but extremely interesting and I came away with a better knowledge of Quantum Mechanics, and wanting to learn more.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
QM for Everyone is, by far, the best MOCC of the 4-5 I have taken. Indeed, its use of simulated experiments is the first course I have experienced that takes advantage of the internet. Professor Freericks provided fast and relevant answers to my questions.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I have taken more than 40 MOOCs and this is the first one that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. A subject which is almost impossible to comprehend on its own made perfect sense during his classes and animated teaching tools.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 4 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I completed this course last year. It's the best quantum mechanics course that I've ever learned. This course will give you a deep understanding the meaning of quantum mechanics without any complex mathematics. It’s fantastic.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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