History and Philosophy Of Science | Quantum Mysteries for Everyone
E103 | 14238 | Amit Hagar


Amit Hagar
E103
Quantum Mysteries for Everyone

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. The course will have both lecture and
discussion. There will be weekly writing assignments of 1-2 pages
each, three small tests, and a final exam.