A research field within general optical physics concerned with light and its material interaction: where light is modelled by full quantum mechanical description.

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In terms of covariance matrices, are partial measurement and partial trace equivalent?

Partial measurement and partial trace There is a connection between a measurement of a part of a system and tracing this subsystem out. Say, we have a system composed of subsystems $A$ and $B$ in a ...
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103 views

Why doesn't a typical beam splitter cause a photon to decohere?

In many experiments in quantum mechanics, a single photon is sent to a mirror which it passes through or bounces off with 50% probability, then the same for some more similar mirrors, and at the end ...
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Off-diagonal terms of the Husimi $Q$ function?

The Husimi $Q$ function of a quantum state $\rho $ is defined as $ Q (\alpha)=\langle \alpha \vert \rho \vert \alpha \rangle $, where $\alpha = (x, p) $ is a phase space coordinate and $\vert \alpha ...
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263 views

A moderate introduction to Hanbury Brown Twiss interferometry in particle physics

For astronomy, as originally invented, the Hanbury Brown Twiss interferometer is good for finding the angular diameter of stars and is not a rapidly fluctuating observable like the amplitude in ...
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Proving two forms of atom-field interaction perturbation Hamiltonian are equivalent

In the presence of an electromagnetic field in the dipole-approximation (${\boldsymbol A} = {\boldsymbol A}(0,t)$) we have the two forms $$H_{{\boldsymbol d}\cdot {\boldsymbol E}} = - q {\boldsymbol ...
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63 views

What happens when one of the photons in entangled state gets destroyed?

Consider two entangled photons with two mutally conjugate circular polarization. What happens when one photon which is, say, left hand polarized gets destroyed. Will the other photon retains its right ...
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472 views

Lasing in a 2-Level system?

What exactly is the difference between 2-Level, 3-Level and 4-Level systems? Why can we not achieve stimulated emission in a two-level system using optical pumping?
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390 views

Stark effect in two level atomic, laser-driven system?

In a two level atomic system (Rabi oscillating problem) the perturbative potential is oscillating / sinusoidal because it comes from the electric field from the laser. Now stark effect is the ...
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39 views

Alternate young double slit experiment

What will happen in young's double slit experiment, when instead of screen I put a black screen with a hole and a second screen behind the black one. Will it still form interference pattern albeit a ...
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35 views

Mean free path of a photon in a fiber

Is there a way to calculate, or a reference table I can to look up which provides the average distance a photon travels before it encounters an electron and is absorbed or re-emitted in a fiber optics ...
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93 views

Shot noise at high frequencies (can it really be ideal white noise?)

Quantum shot noise (either optical intensity noise or electrical current noise) described by the noise spectral density of $2 e I$ (electrically) or $2 h \nu P$ (optically). So it is white noise. I ...
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136 views

First order coherence through double slit

The state $$|\Psi \rangle = |0\rangle + \sum_j \int d\omega f_j(\omega)\hat{a}^\dagger_j (\omega) |0\rangle $$ is coming from a far field and incident on a double slit setup. Here j is the index of ...
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274 views

Beam splitters and Mach-Zender interferometers

I have a question (my very first here) related to 50/50 beam splitters as used in the Mach-Zehnder interferometers (see for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach-Zehnder_interferometer). Let's ...
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37 views

Do beam splitters work for very broad photons? (frequency bandwidth, spatial extent)

If I send a single photon through a usual beam splitter, is there a limit for the beam splitter to work properly related to the photons broadness in frequency or in space? For example a femto second ...
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71 views

Wave function of a photon?

consider a single photon. Since it is not possible to create a photon with a certain frequency it can be characterized by a normalized frequency distribution $f(\nu)$ that is peaked around some mean ...
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48 views

What are “parity considerations” in deciding the form of the Hamiltonian?

In "introductory Quantum Optics", by Gerry and Knight, the Jeynes model is considered. In this model of electron-EM field interaction the electron is approximated by a two state system ($\lvert ...
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59 views

How is the set of displacement operators best called?

Displacement operators $\hat D(x,p), \ \ x,p\in\mathbb{R},$ follow a composition rule $$D(x,p) D(x',p') = \exp\frac{i(px'-xp')}2 D(x+x',p+p').$$ Because of the extraneous phase factor, the set of all ...
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60 views

What low-level process drives a frequency-doubling crystal?

I was reading about second-harmonic generation (SHG) crystals (or frequency-doubling crystals) used to produce green laser light from IR. What low-level process in the crystal is actually driving ...
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73 views

Polarization in Lasers and Liquid Crystal Displays

When we talk about Polarization in Lasers we mean placement of the crystal at Brewster angle to block the s-polarization and only the p-polarization will survive. How do we compare the term ...
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969 views

What IS reflection?

How does quantum electrodynamics actually explain HOW reflection occurs on a microscopic scale? Note that Feynman's QED lecture series/book is not sufficient, as he only assumes that light DOES ...
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25 views

Microscopic origin of optical transmission

When light interacts with matter, it is abosrbed, reflected and transmitted. With repect to the UV-Vis range, electronic abosrptions occur, where if the incident photon mode matches the energy ...
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176 views

Is $\hat{\phi}^{-}\hat{\phi}^{+}$ a well defined observable in the Quantum field theory of a scalar field?

Is the Hermitian operator $\hat{\mathcal{O}}=\hat{\phi}^{-}(x)\hat{\phi}^{+}(x)$, where $\hat{\phi}^{+}(x)$ is positive frequency part of the scalar field operator, a well defined observable in QFT? ...
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How do I write the Hamiltonian for a 3-level system?

I came across following types of three-level systems like V-system, Λ-system and 2-photon absorption It seems that their Hamiltonians can be written intuitively by checking out the coupled levels ...
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78 views

Why are “quadratures” called this way?

In quantum optics (and hence also cv quantum information), given the annihilation and creation operators of the electromagnetic fields $a$ and $a^{\dagger}$, the "position" and "momentum" operators ...
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62 views

Is boson sampling a problem in 'continuous variable' quantum information?

When people generally speak of quantum information in the context of continuous variables, what is generally meant is that observables, like position/momentum or the field quadratures of quantum ...
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134 views

Is there a way to increase the speed of light itself?

When light enters materials it slows down due to its refractive index (due to absorbing and re-emission of photons). But, is there a way to increase the speed of light itself? Can there be some ...
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34 views

Determine laser cavity modal content from beating / interference?

I'm trying to better understand the modal content and dynamics of laser cavities. I'm specifically interested in mode-locking, although this question is pretty general and applies to CW lasers too. I ...
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117 views

Physical significance of effective wave function

In Yanhua Shih's book on quantum optics, the coherence functions are expressed in terms of effective wave function. Here are the expressions for single photon wave packets. To derive the coherence ...
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46 views

Measuring spin direction by means of coherent light?

Let us assume that we have the ferromagnetic surface where all atoms have the same direction of spins. And we can interact with the single atom in such lattice. Is it possible to measure the ...
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230 views

Are coherent states of light 'classical' or 'quantum'?

Coherent states of light, defined as $$|\alpha\rangle=e^{-\frac{|\alpha|^2}{2}}\sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{\alpha^n}{n!}|n\rangle$$ for a given complex number $\alpha$ and where $|n\rangle$ is a Fock ...
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279 views

Back-action noise vs shot noise

I have recently come across two key concepts in quantum optics: shot noise and back-action noise. This is very important for me to know: first, are shot noise and back-action noise the same? Please ...
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166 views

What limits laser pulse duration to single cycle?

Why pulses shorter than single cycle cannot propagate in free space ? Is there fundamental reason or it is engineering ? Is it possible for a laser pulse to have bandwidth that can support half cycle ...
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552 views

What is the “direction” of the transition dipole moment? (Understanding Eq. 9.29, Charge and Energy Transfer 3rd Ed, May & Kuhn)

For a real vector $\mathbf{r}$, the direction is given by: $\hat{\mathbf{n}}=\mathbf{r}/\left|\mathbf{r}\right|$. The transition dipole moment is a complex vector. How do you define its direction? ...
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44 views

normal ordering from anti normal ordering of creation and anhilation operators

I am working on entanglement of systems in beam splitters. I constantly come across equations of creation and annihilation operator (ladder operators) in anti normal ordering. I want those equations ...
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344 views

Is there a simple approximation to calculate the index of refraction of water?

A very rough approximation from first principles, from the elementary charge and hbar, would suffice. But is there such an approximation at all? (Alternatively, if water is too difficult: is there ...
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62 views

Casimir force between plate and sphere

In our quantum optics lecture we derived the formula for the Casimir force between two plates (or at least the force per unit surface, since for two infinite plates we would have an infinite force). ...
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405 views

Why does optical pumping of Rubidium require presence of magnetic field?

The optical pumping experiment of Rubidium requires the presence of magnetic field, but I don't understand why. The basic principle of pumping is that the selection rule forbids transition from ...
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86 views

How do we show that photons generated by a constant electric current are distributed according to a Poisson distribution?

I saw the answer sometimes ago in a book "Quantum Electronics" or similar title. I don't remember the author since I lost the book. The book sets ( I believe so ) a constant electric current $I$ in a ...
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365 views

What is optical confinement?

What is optical confinement? What is it intuitively? How does this 'optical confinement' affect the performance of a laser?
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74 views

Quantum Cascade Laser [closed]

I want to learn about quantum cascade laser in a six month time. Can anyone please suggest me any reading materials or video lectures. I have background in calculus and linear algebra. I am learning ...
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444 views

What causes atoms to have their specific colors?

I understand that light (color) is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and that it depends on what wavelengths are reflected/absorbed. Though what property of an individual atom gives it its color? ...
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83 views

Time duration for pulse of single electron viewed as a wave

Electron as an example has a de Broglie wavelength and could diffract. If it has a single wavelength the time extent of the particle's pulse duration would be infinite .. If it carries a broadband ...
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176 views

Why do lasers require mirror at the ends?

Laser uses mirrors to reflect photons in order to stimulate atoms to emit photons, but why this is so?. I mean, why does a photon stimulate atoms to produce more photons? If a photon made an atom to ...
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116 views

Can one build a laser using spontaneous emission?

We use stimulated emission and not spontaneous emission to produce lasers. Why is this? Can't we produce lasers by the spontaneous emission method?
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144 views

Are Rabi oscillations a pure quantum process?

Rabi oscillations are commonly known as the oscillations in time of the occupation probability of a quantum two-level system under the action of a coupling interaction between the two-levels. ...
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590 views

Reference request: Susskind-Glogower original paper

I'm trying to find Susskind and Glogower's original paper, L. Susskind and J. Glogower, Quantum mechanical phase and time operator, Physics 1 (1964) 49-61, where they propose their exponential ...
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95 views

Energy conservation in plane wave

In plane wave the H and E are in phase. So the pointing vector disappears regularly every pi. How is energy conservation validated ? Is it through the uncertainty of energy and time ?
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283 views

Commutator with a square root

How to find the commutator $[a, \sqrt{a^\dagger a}]$? Here $a$ is a usual bosonic annihilation operator, and $[a, a^\dagger] = 1$. The first thing I tried is $$ [x,A] = [x, \sqrt{A}]\sqrt{A} + ...
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103 views

How to calculate the helicity of polarized light?

At first, I used to think that only circular polarized light has non-zero helicity, linear polarized light has zero helicity, because the linear polarization can be seperated as the superposition of ...
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Arbitrarily using Sin and Cos as eigenfunctions of a Hamiltonian? [closed]

In the context of quantum optics, the rotating wave Hamiltonian can be written: $\hbar\begin{pmatrix} -\Delta & \Omega/2\\ \Omega/2 & 0 \end{pmatrix}$ The eigenvalues can then be calculated ...