24.111 | Spring 2005 | Undergraduate

Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics


You will have weekly homework assignments, which will sometimes involve 2-3 pages of writing (1 page = 300 words), and will sometimes take the form of problem sets. Don’t even think about turning them in late, unless you have some massively good excuse that you tell me well ahead of time; I won’t accept them. There will be 12 weekly assignments in all; you are required to do 10 (your choice, mostly; in a few cases the weekly assignment will be non-optional). If you do more, I will pick the ten best in determining your grade. You are free to revise any of the writing assignments-provided you notify me right away that you want to do so, and turn in the revision no more than two weeks after the given assignment was handed back to you. Occasionally, I may replace the weekly assignment by an in-class quiz; the probability that I will do so will be inversely proportional to my degree of confidence that everyone is doing the reading. There is no final exam, and no mid-term.

4 Overview of Some Odd Phenomena Assignment 1 (PDF)
5-6 The Mathematical Formalism and Its Orthodox Interpretation Assignment 2 (PDF)

Assignment 3 (PDF)

9-16 The Measurement Problem and Attempted Solutions

Assignment 4 (PDF)

Assignment 5 (PDF)

Assignment 6 (PDF)

Assignment 7 (PDF)

Assignment 8 (PDF)

17-19 Hidden Variables and Proofs of Their Impossibility Assignment 9 (PDF)
20-22 Quantum Extravagances Assignment 10 (PDF)
23-26 Composition and Identical Particles Assignment 11 (PDF)

Assignment 12 (PDF)


Handout 1: The two-path experiment (PDF)

Handout 2: Bell’s Inequalities (PDF)

Handout 3: Derivation of the Turbo Bell’s Inequality (less formally known as the Clauser-Horne-Holt-Shimony inequality) (PDF)

Handout 4: Vector spaces and the statistical algorithm (PDF)

Handout 5: The statistical algorithm refined, the uncertainty principle, Schrödinger’s Equation, states of multi-particle systems (PDF)

Handout 6: Basic number theory stuff, used in Shor’s algorithm for quantum-computing the factors of an integer (PDF)

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2005
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments