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Applied Quantum Mechanics

Module PH2205

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2017/8 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2017/8WS 2014/5

Basic Information

PH2205 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Specialization Modules in Elite-Master Program Theoretical and Mathematical Physics (TMP)

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 60 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2205 is Friedemann Reinhard.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module is an introduction into the numerous applications of quantum mechanics that have emerged in recent years. After introducing the language of quantum information processing it will cover various applications such as

  • simple quantum algorithms for quantum computers
  • atomic clocks and GPS
  • superconducting SQUID magnetic field sensors for sensing of currents in the brain
  • protocols of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and their application in biochemistry
  • NV centers in diamond and their potential use for imaging of the magnetic fields of single molecules, hard disk write heads and neuronal currents.
  • decoherence of quantum systems; what it is, how it arises and how it can be mitigated in applications.

Learning Outcome

After passing the module students are able to 

  • understand the definition of a qubit
  • understand the most prominent implementations of qubits 
  • understand the description of quantum manipulations as a circuit and as a quantum control protocol
  • understand the most prominent applications of qubits as quantum sensors
  • understand and apply the semiclassical model of light-matter interaction
  • understand simple quantum algorithms for computation and error correction
  • analyze superconducting quantum circuits using the Josephson equations 
  • analyze decoherence using the density matrix
  • create and visualize quantum control protocols to control the time evolution of a qubit and to prepare specific quantum states


  • basic knowledge of quantum mechanics of Bachelor level


Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Applied Quantum Mechanics Tue, 10:00–12:00, WSI S101
UE 2 Exercise to Applied Quantum Mechanics Irber, D.

Learning and Teaching Methods

Teaching in this module is based on three components


In the thematically structured lecture the learning content is presented. With cross references between different topics the universal concepts in physics are shown. In scientific discussions the students are involved to stimulate their analytic-physics intellectual power.

In the exercise the learning content is deepened and exercised using problem examples and calculations. Thus the students are able to explain and apply the learned physics knowledge independently.

Some lectures are taught in "flipped classroom format". Students will be asked to watch a webcast of the lecture, think about questions to ask, and discuss them with the lecturer in the following lecture. 


A homework of typically two to three exercises is assigned every week. These exercises are closely linked to the lecture and demand considerable effort. 


The solution to the homework is presented and discussed in a weekly exercise class. This event is led by an experienced PhD student or postdoc and equally serves as a forum to discuss any question relating to both the lecture and the homework. 


Blackboard/Powerpoint, 80%/20% respectively.


M. Nielsen / I. Chuang - Quantum Computation and Quantum Information, Cambridge University Press, 2000

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be a written exam of 90 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using calculation problems and comprehension questions.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Design of a quantum protocol to prepare a specific quantum state.
  • Computing the time evolution of a qubit under a quantum control sequence.
  • Analyzing decoherence of a qubit by the density matrix.

Participation in the exercise classes is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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