To introduce the fundamental concepts and formalism of Quantum Mechanics at the base of Quantum Calculus and Quantum Cryptography we developed an experiment-based module centered on the use of a Mach-Zehnder laser interferometer equipped with linear polarizers. By analyzing the constructive and destructive interference, students are guided to understand the meaning of mutual exclusivity and incompatibility of polarization states (H, V) and (45°, 135°). A MATLAB simulation allows the understanding of the experimental results in terms of single photons. The module was tested as a pilot intervention on a group of Computer Science PhD students at the University of Verona.
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