Rob Louw, lecturer

Wednesday 11–Friday 13 January

11.15 am


This course will explore the world of the very, very small. Although Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel prize for his research into the photoelectric effect which confirmed the quantum nature of light, he remained sceptical about the explanations his fellow physicists developed to explain quantum phenomena. He famously said, ‘God does not play with dice’ and called quantum entanglement ‘spooky action at a distance’. Together with Erwin Schrodinger they developed a thought experiment to illustrate the paradox of quantum superposition called Schrodinger’s cat. In this experiment a cat can simultaneously be both dead and alive. We will search inside some of the ideas and experiments that Einstein and others grappled with. Real hands-on experiments will be included in the course.

Lecture titles

1. The physicists who uncovered the secrets of the quantum world

2. A simple explanation of key quantum phenomena

3. Practical illustrations and demonstrations of quantum phenomena

Films related to the course will be shown from 1.00–2.00 pm on the following dates:

11 January: Interference and the Mach Zender Interferometer

12 January: Qubits and Quantum Entanglement

Please note that these lectures will be repeated for learners on Saturday 21 January from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm.