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PYU44T20 Quantum Optics and Information

Hilary Term – 24 lectures/tutorials – 5 credits (J Goold)

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Describe the concept of a photon, and relate this to the mathematical treatment of the quantum-mechanical electromagnetic field
  • Use this knowledge to calculate basic physical properties of the quantum-mechanical electromagnetic field
  • Describe the theory of the interaction of quantized fields with matter
  • Use density matrix formalism of composite systems and generalised measurements
  • Derive key concepts in bipartite entanglement theory
  • Describe key concepts such as data compression and phase estimation
  • Understand decoherence models for a single qubit



Planck distribution, shot noise, photon counting statistics, Possonian, sub-Poissonian and super-Poissonian light, mode expansion of the field and cavities, quantization of the field, stimulated emission and lasing, operators for the electric and magnetic fields.  Number states and their field distribution. Origin of vacuum fluctuations. Coherent states and their properties. The Jaynes-Cummings model, vacuum Rabi splitting, Rabi oscillations.

Overview of operational viewpoint of quantum mechanics (Bloch sphere, density matrices, composite systems), The Schmidt Decomposition, Purification, Operator Sum representation, Generalised measurements, Data Compression, Accessible Information, Entanglement measures, generalised entropies, quantum teleportation, quantum phase estimation and decoherence models for a single qubit.