QED

Each year, the Econometric Institute and FAECTOR offer students in Econometrics  the opportunity to attend QED lectures. This extra-curricular activity is a sort of honors class, but with some differences:

  • Participation is not based on high grades but on the wish of participants to go a bit deeper into a subject that requires mathematical techniques.

  • Participation is without obligations. You can just attend some or all weekly meetings of 45 minutes.

  • Participation does not lead to credits.

Every year some group of students enjoy participation. Later they indicate that they profited from it in some way in their academic development.

You can read the following plan for this academic year and then decide whether it suits you.

Plan QED: The mathematical model behind quantum mechanics
Till one year ago, I had no interest in or knowledge of physics.  Then a student, Tjebbe Bodewes, pointed out to me that what I teach in my Matrix Algebra course-that usually AB is not equal to BA for matrices A,B-has a spectacular consequence in physics: it leads to a very precise law that limits the precision with which one can measure simultaneously position and velocity of microscopic particles. When I saw, a month later, in a bookstore a book that dealt with this strange phenomenon from  quantum mechanics, I could not resist the temptation to have a look in it.  When doing so, I realized to my surprise that my life-long prejudice that quantum mechanics is an extremely difficult subject, only accessible to experts, was unfounded.  I saw that all you needed to get to the bottom of quantum mechanics is 2x2 matrices and complex numbers. You have learned this (and much more!) in the first two blocks of your first year. In the QED meetings this block I intend to present the beautiful mathematical model behind quantum mechanics.  If you attend, then you can judge for yourself whether the model behind quantum mechanics is as simple as I claim it is.  Finally I recall that recently quantum mechanics is often in the news due to progress towards quantum computers.  The possibility of such super powerful computers is based on the fascinating concept `entanglement’.  Entanglement will be explained from the model during QED.

You can register for QED on Sin-Online (FEB61001).  Meetings will be every Wednesday 15.00-15.45h, starting next week 24-01-2017. Link: https://ese.sin-online.nl/channel/chlist.html

You are welcome to attend!

J.Brinkhuis