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Unit information: Applied Quantum Theory in 2020/21

Unit name Applied Quantum Theory
Unit code PHYSM0041
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Dara McCutcheon
Open unit status Not open

Quantum Light and Matter


Advanced Quantum Theory

School/department School of Physics
Faculty Faculty of Science


All physical systems and measurements made upon them can be better understood through the development of rigorous underlying mathematical models. This unit will study a number of relevant examples with applications in quantum engineering. The aim is to gain a deeper understanding of how processes and measurements are described by abstract mathematical theories.

Topics covered will include: Open quantum systems and master equations; quantum channels; state discrimination and verification; quantum state and process tomography; while evolving topics may include: group theory; non-linear and Gaussian optics; timely and relevant topics offered by guest lecturers.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course students should:

  • Be able to mathematically describe a variety of physical processes experienced by open quantum systems. -
  • Be able to explain quantum state and process acquisition protocols.
  • Be able to describe how mathematical descriptions relate to measurement procedures.

Transferrable skills include:

  • The ability to develop technical and demanding mathematical models describing physical processes

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials, including narrated presentations and worked examples
  • synchronous group problems classes, workshops, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous directed individual formative exercises and other exercises
  • guided, structured reading

Assessment Details

Summative Assessment: Written, timed, open-book examination (100%)

Reading and References

M. A. Nielsen and I. L. Chuang, Quantum Computation and Quantum Information, Cambridge University Press 2000. H. Carmichael, An Open Systems Approach to Quantum Optics, Springer 1993. Any material specified by the instructor.