Course Overview

Course Description

Introduction to quantum computation and quantum information. Quantum logic gates and quantum circuits. Efficient quantum algorithms: quantum Fourier transform and its applications and quantum search algorithms. Physical implementations of quantum computation. Quantum error-correction and fault-tolerant quantum computation.

Course Level

The course should be of general interest to physicists, computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians. The structure of the course will make it accessible to students with a variety of backgrounds. Necessary material (such as foundation of quantum mechanics and classical information theory) will be reviewed during the course as needed and a choice of research projects will be suggested based on student interest and specialization. The course is aimed at both graduate students of all levels and junior/senior undergraduate students.

Prior knowledge of quantum mechanics will be helpful but not required as the necessary material will be reviewed as needed. Students should be familiar with some linear algebra.


Quantum Computation and Quantum Information by Michael Nielsen and Isaac L. Chang, Cambridge University Press.

Instructor Information

Research Fields
Theoretical Atomic Physics and Quantum Information
Marianna Safronova's Research web site

Course Requirements

Second writing requirement

This course has been approved for second writing requirement. Three papers are to be submitted throughout the semester. Two of the papers are part of the research project completed throughout the semester. The third paper on quantum computation scheme is to be submitted in the second half of the course.

All homework assignments and their due dates are posted online. The homework is to be either brought to the lecture or put in my mailbox in the physics office (Sharp 217) closes (about 5pm) on Thursday.

Midterm is on October 24. The complete list of questions and problems that may appear on the midterm.

Interactive lectures
I will frequently give problems or derivation to do during the lectures (not graded) or ask questions. The entire class is expected to work out the problems (with my assistance). Therefore, please have a few pieces of paper during each lecture.

Course Policies & Grading

Course Policies

Late homework or other assignments
Only excused absences are eligible for submitting late homework or any other assignment. If you miss project-related lecture or are unable to submit homework or papers on time due to an excused absence you have to notify me by e-mail. No late homework returns will be allowed one week after the deadline unless special circumstances are present. If you anticipate a conflict ahead of time, then you should let me know in advance that you will or may be absent.  University policies ( ) outline the criteria for an excused absence.

Academic Honesty
Student Guide to University Policies: Code of Student Conduct

Quizzes and Homework Grading Policy
Unless noted otherwise, problems and questions are graded on the 3 point scale described below.

3 points
The problem is solved correctly and correct answer is obtained.
2 points
Substantial portion of the solution, which is in the direction of the correct answer is given or complete (in principle correct) solution is given but some mistake is made which lead to incorrect answer.
1 point
An attempt to solve problem has been made and an understanding of how such problem may be solved is demonstrated (some work in the direction of the correct solution is present).
0 points
No solution is provided or no understanding of how such problem may be solved is demonstrated.
The total number of points and the possible maximum number of points will be marked on the homework. NO homework grade is dropped when the final homework grade is determined.

Course Grade

Your final grade for Physics 650 will be based on your total score for homework assignments, midterm, research project (including the presentation), and quantum computation scheme paper. The grade is determined as follows:
Percentage Assigned
Research project
Quantum computation scheme paper

Rough guidelines for letter grade ranges are listed below.

93 - 100
90 - 92
85 - 89
80 - 84
75 - 79
70 - 74
65 - 69
60 - 64
57 - 59
53 - 56
50 - 52
< 50