Overview

Quantum club helps you explore the exciting world of quantum physics through:

  • Weekly 2-hour tutorials in small groups
  • Lectures and meetings with world’s leading quantum physicists
  • Virtual and/or real lab tours
  • Laboratory practicals (circumstances permitting)
  • Lots of homework!

The tutorials take place online and are available for free. 

The club is run by Professor ALEXANDER LVOVSKY

Alex Lvovsky

Syllabus

  • Hilbert spaces, quantum states, operators
  • Quantum axioms. Measurements. Schrödinger equation
  • Mysteries and paradoxes of quantum physics. Quantum nonlocality. Bell inequality
  • Applications. Quantum cryptography, quantum teleportation, quantum computing

Additional information

Introductory video

Information for participants, including the full syllabus and assignments

Cats etc.

Eligibility 

Students must be studying A-level Physics (or equivalent) in a UK school. Good knowledge of school math and physics is required, including the basics of:

  • trigonometry (Isaac Physics level 4)
  • basic calculus (Isaac Physics level 4-5)
  • theory of probabilities (including the notions of expectation value and variance)

Participants will need to take an entrance test.

Programme dates and time commitments 

There will be a weekly 2-hour tutorial and in addition, you will need to plan to work on the assignments for at least four hours per week.

The first assignment will be published shortly after the entrance test. The first tutorials will take place in the end of November and run weekly till the end of May, after which the tutors will be busy taking their own exams.

How to apply

The registration is now closed. The entrance test took place online on 3rd November 16:00-20:00.

Contact us

Contact Alex.Lvovsky[at]physics.ox.ac.uk with your enquiries.

FAQ

Entrance test

What is the format of the entrance test?
Online oral format. You need to join a Telegram group (the link is included in the email with the instructions sent to you when you sign up). In the beginning of the test (Wednesday 3 November 16:00), you will receive a problem set. After you have solved a few problems, please announce into the group chat your name and the problem numbers you wish to present. We will direct you into a virtual chat room with a tutor. The tutor will review your solutions and ask follow-up questions to test your understanding. If they are satisfied with your answers, they will mark the problem as solved in our database. Otherwise you will need to leave the room and think more, after which you can approach the tutor again. The number of times you can approach a tutor with a solution is unlimited; there is no penalty for unsuccessful attempts as long as you eventually answer correctly. 

Important: before you leave for the day, please ask a tutor to check your database record to ensure that all the problems you solved are marked as such. 

Is the test focused on physics or maths?
Mostly maths. See the last year's test as an example. The focus areas (in addition to general problem solving skills) are listed under "Eligibility" above. Note that complex numbers are not included this time.

Can I be late for the test or leave earlier?
Sure. What counts in the end is the problems that you have solved.

I have not covered calculus at school yet...
If you solve other problems well, there is still a good chance for you to get admitted.

How many problems will I need to solve in order to get admitted?
Not sure. Please do as many as you can to maximize your chance.

Do the problems need to be presented in the order given?
No, you can present them in any order.

In what format will we present the answers to the tutors?
You should write them up, but perhaps not as formally as you would do at a written exam. When talking to the tutor, you can either share your screen (if you are using a tablet or stylus pad) or send them a scan or photograph of your written solution. However, please try to avoid showing handwritten notes through a videocamera, this does not work very well!

How many places do you have in the Club?
We will do our best to accommodate every deserving candidate.

General questions

I like the idea of the programme but what if I get stuck?
Please ask your tutors! They will be happy to point you in the right direction. You can also ask in the group chat line.

What textbook are we using?
A. I. Lvovsky, Quantum Physics: An Introduction Based on Photons (Springer Amazon).

Do I need a tablet?
This is preferable but not necessary. A stylus-enabled tablet allows you to create a virtual whiteboard, on which you and the tutor can write at the same time. However, you can just send a scan of your solution for the tutor to read, this will work as well. Also, stylus pads offer inexpensive alternatives to tablets. 

I cannot attend on a specific day of the week.
There will be several groups with different tutors, each of which can meet at a time convenient for all members.

Will I get a certificate in the end?
The tutors will keep track of the problems from the assignments that each student has solved. I will be happy to write a reference letter in the end of the course certifying the progress you have made.

"I think I can safely say that nobody really understands quantum mechanics" Richard Feynman

"Quantum theory also tells us that the world is not simply objective; somehow it’s something more subtle than that" John Polkinghorne

"If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet" Niels Bohr

Indeed, sometimes even an entire life is not enough to understand quantum physics. But to start studying and thinking about it, a school background is sufficient.