Single-Course English 10 ECTS

Quantum Optics

Overall Course Objectives

Modern optics and photonics more and more use quantum physics in the description of optical processes and systems. This is primarily a result of the advances in laser technology and the miniaturisation of optical nano structures, where interactions between small numbers of atoms or even a single atom and photons occur.
The goal is to give the student a good general background and a thorough basis for further work within quantum phenomena in the optical domain.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the quantization of the electromagnetic field and apply this to describe the vacuum field as well as the coherence properties of optical quantum states.
  • Explain the properties of mixed and pure optical quantum states and calculate measurable quantities of such states.
  • Discuss different mathematical representations of quantum states of light such as the Fock state representation, the position representation and the Wigner function formalism.
  • Describe different measurement techniques in quantum optics such as homodyne detection and photon counting.
  • Explain the fundamental atom-light interaction using the semi-classical and the fully quantum mechanical approach (Jaynes-Cummings model).
  • Understand open, dissipative quantum systems and in particular cavity quantum electrodynamics.
  • Discuss how a quantum system can be protected from decoherence and disentanglement.
  • Discuss different optical elements that transform quantum states such as the beam splitter, the parametric amplifier and the phase plate.
  • Discuss and perform calculations on modern applications of quantum optics including quantum metrology, quantum information processing and quantum opto-mechanics.
  • Understand advanced experiments in quantum optics.

Course Content

The course introduces the student to the semi-classical description as well as to the full quantum theoretical description of the interaction between light and nano structures. These methods are used to describe the light field in various quantum optical states and to describe absorption, emission and photo detection. In the final part of the course we work with the quantum optical description of interference and coherence as well as with noise phenomena in detectors and lasers. We also study the generation and measurement of uniquely quantum optical phenomena such as squeezed light and entanglement. The student is also introduced to the quantum mechanical coupling between light and nano structures in optical micro cavities as well as applications of quantum optics in metrology and informatics. The student is thus introduced to the most current research in quantum optics. In addition to the lectures the students will apply some of the concepts studied in theory by carrying out quantum optical experiments.

Recommended prerequisites

34020/10102, Photonics and quantum mechanics

Teaching Method

Lectures and problem solving.

See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 10380
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 5
Semester end Week 19
Days Tues 13-17, Fri 8-12

15.000,00 DKK