NFYK23002U Introduction to Quantum Information Science

Volume 2023/2024

MSc Programme in Quantum Information Science


Quantum Information exploits quantum mechanics to perform computation, communication, and sensing applications more efficiently than what is believed to be allowed by classical physics. The Introduction to Quantum Information Science course will introduce the quantum mechanical formalism of states, state evolution, quantum measurements, damping and noise, as well as basic concepts of classical information science. The course has three components: A) An introduction to let the participants familiarize themselves with the central concepts of single two-level systems, the quantum bits, and the simple harmonic oscillator. B) An experimental part studying the preparation, manipulation and detection of photonic quantum  bits. C) An introduction to basic concepts in information and computer science including communication complexity, classical error-correction, and boolean circuits.

Learning Outcome


After the course, the student will have knowledge about the physical concept of quantum bits and quntum gates and examples of their implementation. The student will know the formalism needed to describe quantum states subject to perfect and imperfect dynamical evolution, and how the formalism relates to experiments. The student will also have a basic knowledge of classical information science concepts and the most prominent changes incurred by the application of quantum systems.


After the course the students should be able to explain qualitatively and quantitatively how quantum bits differ from classical bits. The students should be able to account for the formal representation of quantum states of qubits and how they transform under simple operations, and they should be able to account for the implementation of quantum bits by polarization states of light, Furthermore the students should be able to compare to classical information theory and computing.

More specifically the students should be able to:

  • describe how state amplitudes evolve in time by the Schrödinger equation.
  • specify the effect of projective measurement, determine  their possible outcomes and outcome probabilities 
  • explain how damping and noise modifies the state description and measurement outcome probabilities
  • describe optics experiments, including preparation, manipulation and detection of optical qubits
  • discuss whether quantum information science offers an improvement over classical information science in a given setting


The student will get familiar with the basic axioms of quantum mechanics and be able to make quantitative predictions for the outcome of measurements on a simple two-level system. Thereby the course will introduce the most significant element of quantum mechanics to students with little or no background in physics, and for students who have already studied quantum mechanics, it will extract the essential elements and provide the formalism that we shall use for quantum bits. Together with elements of computer and information science, the course will prepare the students for further studies within quantum information science.

Lecure notes, experimental guides and laboratory manuals

The students should fulfill the requirements for admission to the M.Sc. in Quantum Information Science, i.e. a BSc in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Machine Learning and Data Science, Cyber Technology(DTU), Nanotechnology(DTU), Artificial Intelligence and Data(DTU), Mathematics and Technology(DTU) or Software Technology(DTU).
Lectures and theoretical and experimental exercises
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 32
  • Preparation
  • 139
  • Theory exercises
  • 26
  • Laboratory
  • 9
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Type of assessment details
Three written assignments.
The hand-in assignments must be approved by instructor/lecturer.
Participation in all lab sessions is mandatory. A catch-up session will be offered for students who were absent from a lab session.
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
More internal examiners

The student must hand in new assignments to cover those that were not approved.

The requirement for participation in labs cannot be disregarded. If the student did not participate in the labs, they must follow the course again.

Criteria for exam assesment

see learning outcome