PY4T02: Electron & Photon Physics Part 1

Quantum Theory of Light

Paul Eastham

Indicative Syllabus

  1. Introduction
  2. Planck radiation law
  3. Photon shot noise
  4. More intensity fluctuations: single-mode thermal field, classical chaotic light
  5. Hamiltonian for the electromagnetic field
  6. Classical and non-classical state of light -- coherent states, number states. Visualising field distributions.
  7. Light-matter interactions -- Jaynes-Cummings model and Rabi oscillations. Generation of coherent states with classical dipoles.

Course Materials

30/4/14, corrected typo in derivation of Poisson photocount distribution; result unaffected.
26/9/14, fixed some typos in quantum mechanics revision, reorganized problem sheets + added question.
6/10/14, minor errors in part 1 and first problem sheet.
11/11/14, fixed typo, extended questions, on problem sheets 2 and 3.

Past papers:

Suggested Books

  1. C. Gerry and P. L. Knight, Introductory quantum optics, Cambridge University Press 2005.
  2. Mark Fox, Quantum optics, Oxford University Press 2006.
  3. R. Loudon, The quantum theory of light, 3rd ed., OUP 2000. Advanced, but a classic with an excellent balance of physics and formalism.

Last modified: Tue Nov 11 10:05:36 2014