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PY4T02: Electron & Photon Physics Part 1

Quantum Theory of Light

Indicative Syllabus

  1. Planck distribution and shot noise
  2. Photon counting statistics: Poissonian, sub-Possonian, super-Possonian.
  3. Statistics of a single-mode thermal field and classical chaotic light
  4. Mode expansion of the field and cavities
  5. Quantization of the field.
  6. Stimulated emission, spontaneous emission, and lasing
  7. Operators for the electric and magnetic field
  8. Classical and non-classical states of light -- coherent states, number states.
  9. Counting distributions and field distributions.
  10. Light-matter interactions. The Jaynes-Cummings model, vacuum Rabi splitting, Rabi oscillations

Course Materials

15/11/16, ** New ** handout on stimulated emission, spontaneous emission, and lasing
25/10/16, Corrected problem set 2 question 5e.
5/10/15, Reformatted handouts to print 6-up.
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.