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ERIC Number: EJ1091325
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
The Qubit as Key to Quantum Physics Part II: Physical Realizations and Applications
Dür, Wolfgang; Heusler, Stefan
Physics Teacher, v54 n3 p156-159 Mar 2016
Using the simplest possible quantum system--the qubit--the fundamental concepts of quantum physics can be introduced. This highlights the common features of many different physical systems, and provides a unifying framework when teaching quantum physics at the high school or introductory level. In a previous "TPT" article and in a separate paper posted online, we introduced catchy visualizations of the qubit based on the Bloch sphere or just the unit circle (see also Refs. 3-8 for other approaches highlighting the importance of the qubit). These visualizations open the way to understand basic ideas of quantum physics even without knowledge of the underlying mathematical formalism. In addition, simple mathematics can be introduced to describe the qubit as an abstract object and basic unit of quantum information. This generalizes the digital bit as a basic unit of classical information. The proposed visualizations can be used even at the high school level, while the mathematical explanations are of importance when teaching quantum physics at the undergraduate university level. This approach provides a unified framework to introduce common features of all quantum systems, such as the stochastic behavior and state change of a superposition state under measurement.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A