We have a new manuscript on arXiv titled “Understanding quantum physics through simple experiments: from wave-particle duality to Bell’s theorem”. The manuscript comprises an outline for a course, which was conceived by Christoph Simon at the University of Calgary, about conveying quantum mysteries to students without any prerequisites in mathematics.

This manuscript describes the two key surprises of quantum physics: wave-particle duality and Bell’s theorem using very little mathematics; only a basic knowledge of complex numbers (iota square is unity) is used, and no Hilbert spaces or inequalities are required.

We take the approach of simple thought experiments that really bring out the two strange features of quantum physics, firstly, how photons act like particles in some situations and at other times as waves, and secondly, how the predictions of quantum mechanics fly in the face of very reasonable assumptions about reality. The thought experiments are chosen such that, with a bare-minimal mathematics background, the reader can work out for themselves what quantum physics would predict and how it is at odds with common-sense notions.

Our primary audience is the determined student starting university with the hope that it piques their curiosity. That said, if you are a researcher on quantum physics, we hope that reading this manuscript can help you, as it has helped us, devise simple thought experiments that aid your research. Feedback is very welcome from experts and non-experts alike!