MAGIC069: Introduction to Quantum Information

Course details

A core MAGIC course


Autumn 2013
Monday, October 7th to Saturday, December 14th


Live lecture hours
Recorded lecture hours
Total advised study hours


10:05 - 10:55


The aim of this course is to introduce basic ideas of quantum computation and quantum information. The processing information requires a physical device capable of performing the corresponding operations. If individual objects of atomic dimensions are used for information processing, the laws of quantum mechanics must be taken into account in the description of the behaviour of these information carries. Consequently one is forced to rethink the fundamentals of computation, communication, and cryptography. Perhaps surprisingly, this altered perspective does not simply impose quantum restrictions on the processing of information but does also open up new, classically unexpected, enhanced capabilities.
The course will introduce the mathematical language and physical postulates of quantum theory, with a focus on systems described by finite-dimensional complex Hilbert spaces. Core aspects of quantum information theory such as the no-cloning theorem, teleportation, and basic quantum algorithms will be presented. The notion of performing computations with quantum objects will be made explicit using quantum circuits.
Entanglement is an important feature of quantum systems that has been found to be crucial for a quantum speed-up of computation. We will explain the quantum mechanical description of compound systems and give a precise characterisation of entanglement. Fundamental implications of entanglement, especially quantum nonlocality, will be illustrated in terms of the famous Bell inequality.


Familiarity with linear algebra, vector spaces over \Bbb C, linear operators and matrices.


  • quantum Mechanics in finite dimensions and quantum operations
  • basic information processing tasks and entropy
  • uncertainty relations
  • quantum circuits and universality
  • quantum algorithms (selection from Deutsch, Simon, Grover, Shor)
  • quantum non-locality and the link to cryptography
There will be several examples sheets, not used for assessment. I may schedule a tutorial at the end of term.


  • RC

    Professor Roger Colbeck

    University of York


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There will be a single take-home paper in January (available from 12th) with 2 weeks to complete and submit online. There will be 4 questions of which you should answer 3. You will need to score more than 50% in order to pass.

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