X326 | 16106 | Amit Hagar

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 page each, three small quiz, a group project, and a final multiple-choice exam.