Norwegian version
Portrait of Sølve Selstø with the book in her hands. Crossroads in the background. Green trees and red brick building at the back.

Finally, a practical introductory book in quantum physics

Professor Sølve Selstø has written a practical textbook that provides an innovative approach to learning quantum physics, published by the prestigious Cambridge University Press.

The book aims to help students develop a more intuitive understanding of quantum physics by making the subject tangible and visual.

Through the engaging and informal book, students are encouraged to take an active role in learning key concepts by working through practical exercises.

The book equips readers with some basic methodology and a toolbox of scientific data processing methods so that they can use code to simulate and visualize how quantum particles behave.

“I think this is a very good way to learn the material,” highlights Sølve Selstø.

Covers a wide range of quantum phenomena

The important basic elements, such as the wave function and the Schrödinger equation, are introduced first, and then the text is gradually built up to advanced topics including relativistic, open, and non-Hermitian quantum physics.

The book covers a wide range of quantum phenomena, including tunneling, interference, and quantization, and includes a chapter on quantum technology and applications.

Knowledge of basic mathematics and numerical methods is a prerequisite, which means that the book can be suitable for bachelor's students in computer science and mathematics, but also for advanced students who want a practical introduction to quantum physics.

“You should preferably know calculus and linear algebra, and be able to write Python code, MATLAB code, or similar to be able to solve this type of mathematical problem. But you do not need to have prior knowledge of quantum physics,” says Selstø.

In the book, he gives detailed explanations of how the problems can be solved but expects the student to try to solve the tasks themselves first.

Books give room for a freer and more oral jargon

“At Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet), the book could be suitable for teaching quantum information theory and modern physics,” says Selstø, who likes to write outside the scientific article genre.

“I like being able to communicate without having to be loyal to a genre. In such a book I can have a much freer, more verbal jargon than in a scientific article.”

“Another reason why I wrote the book is that I wish I had that book myself when I was a student” he says and adds that he also likes to write for the sake of writing.

Can get readers all over the world

As the book is published in English by the well-known Cambridge University Press, it can gain readers all over the world.

The publisher was immediately interested in the idea when Selstø wrote to them: "It's not an introduction to computational quantum physics. It is a computational introduction to quantum physics.”

Sølve Selstø concludes by saying many textbooks introduce quantum physics, but not that many that provide practical implementation as in this book.

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Further reading

Maryam helps a public transport company to get ahead of technological development

The public transport company Ruter likes to be at the forefront of technology development and hired OsloMet graduate Maryam to explore the possibilities of quantum technology.

Picture of Maryam showing something on the quantum computer to professors Sergiy and Sølve who are standing on opposite sides of her. On the table in front of them is a black quantum computer
Published: 26/04/2024 | Olav-Johan Øye