Rob Louw, chemical engineer

This course will cover a brief history of the quantum story followed by an introduction to key quantum mechanical concepts. These concepts will then be used to describe quantum mechanical phenomena such as electron spin, polarisation and more. Very, very little (matric level) maths will be used. Analogies to familiar everyday mechanics will be used to describe quantum phenomena wherever possible. Concepts such as the statistical nature of quantum mechanics, quantum states, quantum spin, wave/particle duality, superpositions, quantum entanglement, the Heizenberg uncertainty principle plus more will be covered.

Lectures will be augmented by two Saturday sessions each of twelve thirty-minute videos of ‘Great Courses’ quantum mechanics lectures by Professor Erica Carlson of Purdue University. The videos may be watched free of charge. It would be helpful for participants to watch these videos before the lectures on 18 and 25 January.


Lecture titles

1.  Brief history of quantum mechanics and an introduction to key quantum mechanical concepts

2. & 3. Quantum mechanical phenomena and properties of quantum mechanical systems


Recommended reading

Rutherford, M. 2021. Quantum Physics for Beginners. Great Britain: Amazon.

Carlson, E.W. (Purdue University). Understanding The Quantum World. Virginia, USA. The Great Courses. This is a video lecture course (24 lectures).

Ross, D. 2018. (Southampton University). I don’t Understand Quantum Physics:

Feynman, R., Leighton, R. and Sands, M. et al. Edited by Gottlieb, A. and Pfeiffer, R. 2011. Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol 111: The New Millennium Edition: Quantum Mechanics: 03 (Feynman Lectures on Physics). New York: Basic Books.





DATE: Tuesdays 11, 18 and 25 January
TIME: 11.15 am
COURSE FEES: R225 (online)/R330 (in person)