Introduction

Welcome to The Quantum World!

This course is an introduction to quantum chemistry: the application of quantum theory to atoms, molecules, and materials. You’ll learn about wavefunctions, probability, special notations, and approximations that make quantum mechanics easier to apply. You’ll also learn how to use Python to program quantum-mechanical models of atoms and molecules.

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HarvardX has partnered with DataCamp to create assignments in Python that allow students to program directly in a browser-based interface. You will not need to download any special software, but an up-to-date browser is recommended.

This course has serious prerequisites. You will need to be comfortable with college-level chemistry and calculus. Some prior programming experience is also encouraged.

The Quantum World is ideal for:

  • Chemistry majors who want extra material alongside an on-campus course
  • Chemistry majors at an institution that does not offer quantum chemistry
  • Physics or CompSci majors who want to branch out to chemistry
  • Graduate students refreshing on quantum mechanics before their qualifying exams
  • Professional chemists who want to brush up on their skills

Meet The Faculty

Alán Aspuru-Guzik

Alán Aspuru-Guzik

Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University

Professor Aspuru-Guzik's work focuses on quantum computing, quantum simulation, excitonics, and clean energy. He came to Harvard in 2006 from UC Berkeley, and before that from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Alan brings a fascination with quantum mechanics and a love for soccer to this course.

Alán is a member of the American Chemical Society, member and elected fellow of the American Physical Society, and the Harvard University Center for the Environment. He has won numerous awards, including several Distinguished Lecturer awards, the ACS Early Career Award, and being named an MIT Tech Review "Young Innovator Under 35."

Colin Fredericks

Colin Fredericks

Lead Course Developer at HarvardX, Harvard University

Dr. Fredericks is a Senior Project Lead at HarvardX, and is also the course coordinator for this class. He brings a strong background in physics and a keen interest in astronomy to the course. Colin has been teaching at the high school and college levels since 2000, and also served as course coordinator for Mechanics Review on edX in the summer of 2013 and the first version of this course in early 2015. He is the winner of the 2010-11 Learning Triangle award for teaching.

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