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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Group theory and quantum optics

This is a question about application of group theory to physics. The starting point is the group $SU(n)$. I have a representation $R$ of $SU(n)$ that takes values on the unitary group on an infinite ...
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1k 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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491 views

Quantization of arbitrary electromagnetic field

Quantum optics all discuss the quantization of free electromagnetic radiation. The result is well established. But what about an arbitrary electromagnetic field? For example, the simplest case, ...
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334 views

In optics, how does the vacuum state compare to thermal radiation?

In quantum optics, a perfect absorber of light is said to emit the "vacuum field". In practice, any beam dump will be at finite temperature, so it will emit blackbody radiation. How do these fields ...
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704 views

What does $g^{(2)}$ signify in quantum optics? And how to calculate it?

I have been studying research papers on Quantum Optics and non-linear optics. I frequently come across the $g^{(2)}$ value. What does it signify? What is its importance? How to calculate it? And ...
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744 views

Alkali atom - photon interaction in zero magnetic field

An alkali atom has a single outer electron that interacts with incoming photons of the right wavelength (for alkalies it's in the visible & IR range). If there is an external magnetic field, the ...
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252 views

Are photons inside the media massive? If yes, why there is no Meissner effect?

We all know in vacuum travels with speed $c$, hence its rest mass has to be 0. In the media the light speed $v<c$. Then the photon renormalized by the medium (call it "quasi-photon" if you like), ...
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279 views

Rabi oscillations with quantized light: which is the “quantum” effect, collapse, revival or both?

In wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaynes%E2%80%93Cummings_model#History it is stated that It was later discovered that the revival of the atomic population inversion after its collapse is ...
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361 views

Relation between representations of boson operators?

I have a simple (I think !) question about the representations of boson operators and how they are related. First of all let's define two conjugate observables $Q$ and $P$ (i.e. $\left[Q,P\right]=i$ ...
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137 views

What Cat States of light have been experimentally produced?

I'm specifically looking for Schrödinger's Cat states involving superpositions of two, or if it's been done more, coherent states, i.e. monomodal states of the form ...
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1answer
114 views

Transformation of Jaynes-Cummings Hamiltonian

This is the Jaynes-Cummings Hamiltonian in the interaction picture: $H_i^n = \hbar g \sqrt{n+1}\begin{pmatrix} 0 & \exp(-i\delta t)\\ \exp(i\delta t) & 0 \end{pmatrix}$ I want to transform ...
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135 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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556 views

Types of photon qubit encoding

How many types of qubit encoding on photons exist nowadays? I know only two: Encoding on polarization: $$ \lvert \Psi \rangle = \alpha \lvert H \rangle + \beta \lvert V \rangle $$ $$ \lvert H ...
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438 views

double slit experiment with two opposite quarter waveplates

Consider the usual double slit experiment involving laser and a double slit and a screen. Now place in front of the left slit a quarter waveplate (let's call it QWP1) that changes a certain linear ...
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848 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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309 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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220 views

Linearizing Quantum Operators

I was reading an article on harmonic generation and came across the following way of decomposing the photon field operator. $$ \hat{A}={\langle}\hat{A}{\rangle}I+ \Delta\hat{a}$$ The right hand side ...
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258 views

Do Bell inequality violations appear instantly when the source is turned on, or do they increase over time?

This experimental Question is a result of reading a particular article on Bell violations. I addressed the e-mail below to the corresponding authors —because who knows, they might reply— but it is not ...
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Entanglement g-2-experiment - Which components do I need?

I would like to measure whether my source emits entangled photon pairs. To that order I want to build a g-2-experiment, which measures photon coincidence counts as a function of time delay between ...
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95 views

What is three-photon interference?

Whilst reading this paper on a quantum processor that performs a type of matrix computation, I came across the concept of 'three-photon interference'. A quick Google search shows that this process is ...
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3answers
991 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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2answers
700 views

The most price-efficient experimental setup involving SPDC, single-photon counting etc

I would like a suggestion on a price-efficient way of experimenting with spontaneous down-conversion and single-photon counting. The simple dual-slit experiment could be one part of an application ...
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904 views

Is single photon perfectly monochromatic?

Now, we do have equipment to generate single photon at a time, and LASERs are nearly monochromatic. While typing the question, am realizing that successive photons in case of single photon ...
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1answer
1k views

What are the polarization states of the photons in a polarized and unpolarized light?

The photons are completely polarized, i.e their polarization states can be expressed as $a|R\rangle+b|L\rangle$, where $|R\rangle$ and $|L\rangle$ are two helicity eigenstates of the photon. For ...
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135 views

How to construct matrix to apply U(2) beam splitter to a N dimentional Beam

So I am trying to read this paper (no paywall here). In this the formal construction of a matrix $T$ is given as The product of matrices is equivalent to setting up experimental devices in ...
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102 views

Are all fluorophores dipoles?

Lately I'm reading about surface enhanced fluorescence. In many articles I can see that fluorophores are called "dipoles". Is it because that they can be modelled by a vibrating electric dipole? Or ...
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1k views

Use and understanding of higher-order correlation functions

The correlation function g1 is pretty easy to understand and the relation to young's double slit experiment is also clear to me. In every quantum optics book I read so far correlation functions ...
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169 views

'size' of a photon

What's the smallest apperture a photon can pass through? I mean with no transmission at all. I'm pretty sure I saw long ago an experiment when they were reducing the size of a hole in a gold film and ...
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1answer
858 views

What is the difference between correlation and entanglement?

I have read that not all correlated states are entangled. What is the difference between the two? Mathematically, it was stated that a system which can be put in the form of ...
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345 views

Is there a mathematical equivalence between gravitational optics and quantum optics or are they mathematically incompatible theories?

I know that massive gravitational bodies will curve the path that light travels. I think that quantum optical mediums also bend light. I am still confused of whether quantum optical mediums actually ...
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414 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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101 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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184 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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217 views

when is coherent state a good approximation?

Consider a Hamiltonian of a system coupled to a bath. Let $H_{sys}=\nu c^{\dagger}c$ ; $H_{env}=\Sigma \omega_r a^{\dagger}a$ ; $H_{int}=\Sigma (g_r ac^{\dagger}+g_r^* ca^{\dagger})$. Then it is ...
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67 views

Normal Ordering and Smearing

I read on Wikipedia two different descriptions of the "Husimi-Q representation." One is that it is the Wigner function convolved with a Gaussian, which in particular results in a positive definite ...
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1answer
285 views

What is the difference between QED and quantum optics?

What is the difference between QED and quantum optics? Once you have QED, you have not only the quantized EM field, but also the interaction between matter and the EM field. So, you should have ...
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112 views

Are the Wigner and Husimi transforms injective?

I am wondering if the Wigner function is injective. By injective I mean, that, for every density matrix $\rho$, there is a different Wigner distribution. The same question applies to the Husimi ...
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89 views

Is $\phi_n =\left\langle \vec r | n \right\rangle $ the photon wave function?

I am a bit confused about this issue and I am still not clear whether is there is a photon wave function or not. Since we use Fock states $| n \rangle$ to represent the state of a quantized ...
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1answer
313 views

Phase noise and linewidth of laser

I learned that the linewidth of a single frequency laser is closely related to the phase noise. But this sentence from a book completely confuses me: "A quantum-limited beam in a so-called coherent ...
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1answer
136 views

Electron momentum distribution and wavefunction in momentum space

Does there exist any relationship between the electron momentum distribution used in above threshold ionization and the wave function in momentum space? In other words, starting with the wavefunction ...
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1answer
57 views

Color of macroscopic objects on molecular level

Macroscopic objects either reflect, or transmit, or absorbs electromagnetic waves. Assume now we have, say, a red apple exposed to the usual white light. The red light is apparently reflected from ...
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1answer
251 views

Can spatial coherence be maintained in fiber optic cables over time?

I am doing research with a double slit experiment, using a beam splitter and 2 lengths of fiber optic cable, whose ends brought close together form the effective double slit. I notice that the ...
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499 views

What is Electromagnetic Induced Transparency?

Please can anyone explain the concepts of electromagnetic induced transparency? I am having problem with the technicality of the explanation on wikipedia. Please I am an engineer with a physics ...
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1answer
25 views

Master equation approach only suitable for good cavity laser?

As I understand, master equation and quantum Langevin equation are equivalent formalisms. However, in a Review of Modern Physics article titled sub-Poissonian processes in quantum optics, the author ...
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140 views

Quadrature in quantum optics

I am reading a chapter about Squeezed state, and came across this word, quadrature, which I have never seen before in the book. Here is the quote from that chapter. " A general class of ...
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1answer
123 views

Classical and semi-classical vs quantum interferometry

What is the difference between classical, semi-classical and quantum interferometry? How the detectors look like? As far as I know in classical interferometry light is treated as a wave, whereas in ...
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1answer
85 views

Why is the frequency bandwidth of the environment important for Markovianity?

In the derivation of Spontaneous Emission in two level systems in Quantum Optics (be it Wigner Weisskopf or a different approach, such as density operators to find the master equation), one makes ...
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243 views

Describing a single photon with creation and annihilation operators

Since I am not fully aware of the creation and annihilation operator formalism for single photons, I want to ask, if the following is correct: I am considering a photon in the vacuum which travel ...
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49 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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139 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 ...