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Quantum Mechanics for Everyone

All-Time Top 50

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 54 reviews

  • 5 stars 96%
  • 4 stars 4%
  • 3 star 0%
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  • 1
Anonymous
5.0 10 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 …
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
William C
5.0 10 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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Alex J
5.0 6 months ago
Alex completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I worked in depth with this course as a reviewer for almost 6 months and have continued to work with similar material since... Dr. Freericks' pedagogical skills are evident, as he presents material clearly and by enlightening or unconventional means. Despite being taught without calculus or higher mathematics, the course material is rigorous and tightly crafted; the presentation is lucid; and the motivation and scale are compelling. I would very highly recommend this course to almost any learner who is willing to spend more than a trivial amount of time getting into the weeds but doesn't want to become too involved in the mathematical prerequisites.

Succinctly: This course doesn't have exhaustive prerequisites and, consequently, requires a curious, astute student. It is, however, very rewarding to a motivated learner.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Jan K
5.0 6 months ago
Jan completed this course.


Because I have only reached middle school and a high school diploma, and speak English fairly poorly, I have had great doubts about completing this course. Now I have made it, with 97% success. I'm also about 97% sure (I've learned a lot about probabilities) that this is mainly due to the fantastic work of Prof. Freericks and his team. The tutorials were absolutely perfect, all very understandable, logical, phased. Not a word too little, and no unnecessary too much. The simulations are not only incredibly helpful in understanding problems but also elegant and simply chic. So that I - after I had already understood what was to be understood - out of sheer joy had looked at the simulations a few more times.

Thank you for your work, that was a fascinating and impressive experience!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 6 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.


Because I have only reached middle school and a high school diploma, and speak English fairly poorly, I have had great doubts about completing this course. Now I have made it, with 97% success. I'm also about 97% sure (I've learned a lot about probabilities) that this is mainly due to the fantastic work of Prof. Freericks and his team. The tutorials were absolutely perfect, all very understandable, logical, phased. Not a word too little, and no unnecessary too much. The simulations are not only incredibly helpful in understanding problems but also elegant and simply chic. So that I - after I had already understood what was to be understood - out of sheer joy had looked at the simulations a few more times.

Thank you for your work, that was a fascinating and impressive experience!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 6 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.


Because I have only reached middle school and a high school diploma, and speak English fairly poorly, I have had great doubts about completing this course. Now I have made it, with 97% success. I'm also about 97% sure (I've learned a lot about probabilities) that this is mainly due to the fantastic work of Prof. Freericks and his team. The tutorials were absolutely perfect, all very understandable, logical, phased. Not a word too little, and no unnecessary too much. The simulations are not only incredibly helpful in understanding problems but also elegant and simply chic. So that I - after I had already understood what was to be understood - out of sheer joy had looked at the simulations a few more times.

Thank you for your work, that was a fascinating and impressive experience!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Jonathan P
5.0 10 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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Tom R
5.0 10 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 10 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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 8 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This is an absolutely wonderful course! I had made prior attempts to learn about QM without success. But this course presented the essentials with such clarity and simplicity that it actually helped me develop some *intuition* for quantum behavior that seems so completely foreign and non-intuitive at first. The video lectures, interactive simulations, amazing real experiment videos, and even the practice questions all contributed to my learning experience. It is definitely NOT “dumbed down”. Just carefully focused, and very accessible. And, best of all, Professor Freericks is extremely active in the discussion forum, answering questions and offering expert guidance.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 7 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I think it is the best course or at least one of the best course I've enrolled in (It is my 10 th). Quantum mechanics is not the easiest subject and I am astonished by the quality of the presentation. From my point of view I can only imagine the amount of work involved to present "as simply as possible" the different subjects and to animate either phenomenon, principles, examples....

This is what I call "a clean" course. Teacher respect students, he does not try to show off, he does not make you feel like an "ignoramus". The levels of the "Practice questions" are on par with the presented subject. (I have not looked in the final exam questions).

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 7 months ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
The course is extremely well thought, the instructor manages to make hard concepts easy to understand, and the most amazing thing is that he always replies to students in forums, and within a few hours or days. If a student struggles with a topic, the instructor manages to explain it in another way, and possibly yet another one, till everyone really gets a grasp. It's simply amazing.

You can see the impact of the course from the discussions that arise on the forums: not just requests for help and clarification, but also advanced questions that goes beyond the scope of the course and even proposals for new experiments and ways to advance the field.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 10 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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 10 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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 8 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!!!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 10 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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Nevzat G
5.0 8 months ago
by Nevzat completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Exelent Course

The instructor, James Freericks and his team prepared a very great course. Its a hard subject and Freericks divided the subject to just enough bits to make sure that everything is understood. The interactive tutorials and practice questions helped a great deal. This course might the the best option out there to start learning Quantum Mechanics other then actually studying at a University. Cannot wait the sequel. Thank you very much for all the effort that has been put in the class.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Pat L
5.0 10 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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Ashoo S
5.0 10 months ago
Ashoo 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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 10 months ago
Anonymous completed 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
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