Using Qiskit and IBM quantum computers to explore quantum mechanics

Faculty Commons material developed by Jarrett Lancaster - Published February 3, 2023

This is compilation of activities I have used in a junior/senior-level undergraduate course in quantum mechanics. The overall goal of these activities is to introduce students to IBM quantum computers and give examples for how these devices can be used to probe physics, specifically in the context of spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ systems. In class we develop the theoretical framework to describe spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ systems, covering the Stern-Gerlach experiment, time evolution of single spins, and Bell inequalities for two-spin systems. Activities included here provide students templates for initializing particular states, performing time evolution, and making measurements using IBM quantum computers via the Qiskit software development kit. Each section has several exercises in which students modify the provided templates to conduct their own experiments using the QASM simulator and actual quantum hardware. Students taking the course have some familiarity with using Jupyter notebooks for scientific computing (numpy, matplotlib, etc.) but have not used Qiskit before.

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