Spring 2021 - PHYS 285 D100

Quantum I (3)

Class Number: 1701

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We, Fr 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 24, 2021
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

  • Prerequisites:

    Either MATH 232 or MATH 240, with a minimum grade of C-.



The concepts of quantum mechanics introduced through two-level systems and explored in a way that requires only familiarity with general concepts of linear algebra. Introduction to concepts in classical and quantum information theory, bits and qubits, quantum dynamics, quantum communication and cryptography, and quantum circuits. Quantitative.


Course Outline

1. Experiments demonstrating non-classical features of quantum physics

2. Photons, interference, superposition

3. State vectors and transformations

4. Spin, observables, measurements and probabilities

5. Time evolution, Hamiltonian, Schrödinger equation

6. Operators, eigenvalue problem; commutators

7. Postulates of QM

8. Composite systems, entanglement; quantum teleportation [add Q communication, cryptography here]

9. Qubits and quantum computation [add quantum circuits here]

10. Pure and mixed states, density matrix; interaction with environment, decoherence

11. "Interpretations", nonlocality, contextuality, Q Bayesianism etc


Mode of teaching:

Lecture: partially asynchronous (recorded and on Canvas), partially synchronous;

Tutorial: synchronous;

Midterms: synchronous, dates TBA;

Final Exam: synchronous, dates TBA; proctoring software will be used (which one TBD)

Courses that require PHYS 285 as a pre- or co-requisite: PHYS 332, 365, 385. CHEM 260 is an alternate pre-req to PHYS 285 in PHYS 332 and PHYS 385.


  • Assignments 25%
  • Midterm 20%
  • Final Exam 55%


Grading scheme is tentative and subject to change.



Required Text:
A first introduction to quantum physics, Pieter Kok
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783319922072

Access to high speed internet, webcam.

Part of the course grade will be based upon participation.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students who cannot write their exam during the course's scheduled exam time must request accommodation from their instructor in writing, clearly stating the reason for this request, before the end of the first week of classes.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).