I am just looking for an easy to read introduction to quantum photonics and possible applications. Terms like "Fock state" and "Photon (anti)bunching" should be understood after reading. Perhaps also with some hint on applications or real life effects.

My background is undergrad quantum mechanics knowledge (Schrödinger equation and some Dirac stuff).

I had already a look on the big literature request thread but didn't find anything suitable.


Before answering, please see our policy on resource recommendation questions. Please write substantial answers that detail the style, content, and prerequisites of the book, paper or other resource. Explain the nature of the resource so that readers can decide which one is best suited for them rather than relying on the opinions of others. Answers containing only a reference to a book or paper will be removed!

  • $\begingroup$ When you say "quantum photonics", do you mean "quantum optics"? $\endgroup$ – Norbert Schuch Jan 15 '16 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ dumb question: what's the difference? I'm interested in Single Photon Applications $\endgroup$ – AnatraIlDuck Jan 15 '16 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ To be honest, I'm not sure what "quantum photonics" exactly is. So you are thinking of quantum optics, but with few (single) photons? $\endgroup$ – Norbert Schuch Jan 15 '16 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ yes, that's what I am/was looking for. As I am not an expert on that field, I do not have that much knowledge on the nomenclature $\endgroup$ – AnatraIlDuck Jan 17 '16 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ There are many books on quantum optics. If you want a more easy read (still giving a lot of details, but less mathematically heavy than other books) focusing on the single-photon regime, the book "Exploring the Quantum" by Haroche and Raimond might be a good start. $\endgroup$ – Norbert Schuch Jan 17 '16 at 13:13

For the theoretical background with an occasional nod to experiments, my bible is "Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics" by Mandel and Wolf. This book is both a text book and a reference for researchers. It covers the basics of random signals, quantum mechanics, the quantum theory of radiation, quantum optics, a bit of nonlinear optics, a bit of laser physics, squeezed states, photon correlation, and more ... there's a lot here. It's really aimed at graduate students and above, but being mostly self-contained can be approached by a curious undergraduate. Along the way you will learn that contrary to popular belief, the photoelectric effect has an explanation that does not require a quantized field (photons).

A good companion, shorter and without the rigor, probably less expensive, but covering many of the same topics, is "The Quantum Theory of Light" by Rodney Loudon. This one is definitely accessible to an undergraduate. You might read Loudon and feel that you still don't quite get it. That's where Mandel and Wolf can provide a fuller, more satisfying presentation.

I would start with Loudon and move to Mandel and Wolf for a fuller picture and to fill in gaps.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.