Technion Quantum MOOC

 

Short Online Lectures Introduce Basic Quantum Concepts

Technion’s Helen Diller Quantum Center has recently launched a series of online mini lectures by Technion faculty, each of which explains a different basic concept in the field of quantum science and technology.

The short lectures, which are in Hebrew, are designed to make this field more accessible to the general public and to encourage the community at large to discover the fascinating world of quantum science.

Prof. Yosi Avron, Director of the Quantum Center, launched the initiative in order to pique the curiosity of young Israelis and increase the Center’s online visibility. “Many people prefer to absorb information by seeing and listening, rather than reading, and these days there is a tendency to lose patience after around 20 minutes,” he explains, adding that, “There are plenty of similar videos in English, but not in Hebrew. The fact that they are in Hebrew makes them much easier to understand for Israelis and ensures a captive audience.”

Each video presents a specific concept from the world of quantum science in the simplest terms possible, with no assumption of previous knowledge. Although people with no background in this field may not necessarily understand every detail, they will undoubtedly absorb the sense of cutting-edge innovation. Indeed, the series successfully conveys that the world is at the cusp of the Quantum Age and that the future of science and technology depends on developing this field’s remarkable potential and endless possibilities.

The eight videos that have already been uploaded provide insights and explanations about key subjects such as qubits, quantum gates, entangled photons, quantum teleportation, and superconducting quantum circuits. Each is around 10-15 minutes long and features clear slides and other visual accessories to facilitate comprehension.

The first video, which features Technion alumna Dr. Dikla Oren Caspi defining a qubit, provides an ideal introduction to the world of quantum science. The qubit is the basic unit of quantum information, and it is a term which appears frequently in all the lectures.

Prof. David Gershoni’s presentation on entangled photons and photonic cluster states is particularly inspiring. Prof. Gershoni, an esteemed Physics professor and head of the Solid State Institute at Technion, successfully introduces the viewer to these basic concepts of quantum science in a straightforward and interesting manner.

Several other videos also feature outstanding professors from Technion’s Faculty of Physics, including Prof. Eric Akkermans on the nature of quantum vacuum, Prof. Shay Hacohen Gourgy on superconducting quantum circuits, and Prof. Yosi Avron on the fascinating concept of quantum teleportation. Prof. Aharon Blank of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry, contributes a mini lecture named “NV centers in diamond as qubits and quantum sensors.”

In addition to senior faculty members, Prof. Avron also wanted the series to showcase young doctoral students, who represent the future of quantum research. Two have already taken part: Eyal Bairey, who explains about quantum gates and circuits, and Barak Katzir on “Quantum simulations and the Deutsch Jozsa algorithm.”

The mini lectures were taped in a professional studio at Technion’s Center for Promotion of Learning and Teaching, and are captioned in accordance with accessibility guidelines.

They are available on YouTube through the university’s MOOC (massive open online course) platform. The project is supported by the Council for Higher Education’s Committee for Planning and Funding.

Prof. Avron hopes to double or even triple the number of videos in the series over the next few years, assuming the necessary budget is obtained. He is confident that the best way to expose the Israeli public to the wonders of quantum science and to the activities of the Helen Diller Quantum Center is through public digital platforms. (Rebecca Kopans)