PHYS 685: Quantum Optics II (Winter 2008)

Instructor: Daniel A. Steck
Office: 277 Willamette      Phone: 346-5313      email:
Office hours: MW 1:00-2:00, and by appointment (best to email first)
Course home page:

Schedule: MWF 12:00-1:00, 318 Willamette
Course reference number: 24292
Credits: 4
Prerequisites: PHYS 684

Links: news, course notes, homework sets and keys, software resources.

Course overview

This course is a continuation from last term. This course will provide a broad overview of quantum-mechanical interactions between light and matter. We will focus mainly on light-atom interactions and thus we will also do some atomic structure. This term we will focus on the quantized electromagnetic field and quantum measurement, with increasing emphasis on computational methods.


I will provide typeset lecture notes for the course. They are available in composite form at this link, but I will also post separate versions for each lecture.


Grades for the course will be based on homework and an in-class final exam. The relative weights will be as follows:

Homework: short problem sets will be assigned approximately weekly during the term.

Final exam: the final exam is an in-class exam, to be held at the reguarly scheduled time of Tuesday, 18 March, 2008, at 10:15 am.

Pass/fail grading option: a passing grade requires the equivalent of a C- grade on all the course work (homework and final).


This is a tentative schedule of topics to cover in this course.

Monday Wednesday Friday
7 January
Field Quantization: Single Mode
9 January
Field Quantization: Multimode
11 January
Field Quantization: Transverse Delta Function
14 January
Field Quantization: Field Commutators
16 January
Minimal Coupling Interaction
18 January
Power-Zienau Transformation
21 January
No Class: MLK Day
23 January
p.A vs. r.E interactions
25 January
Aharonov-Bohm Effect
28 January
Jaynes-Cummings Model
30 January
Jaynes-Cummings Model
1 February
Spontaneous Emission
4 February
Spontaneous Emission: Master Equation
6 February
Nonexponential Decay
8 February
Coupled-Mode Theory
11 February
Cavity Decay and Driving
13 February
Linear Response Theory: Dispersive Media
15 February
Linear Response Theory: Green Tensor
18 February
Linear Response Theory: Kramers-Kronig Relations
20 February
Linear Response Theory: Generalized Susceptibility
22 February
Linear Response Theory: Casimir-Polder Force
25 February
Linear Response Theory: Casimir-Polder Force
27 February
Linear Response Theory: Casimir-Polder Force
29 February
Linear Response Theory: Casimir-Polder Force
3 March
Linear Response Theory: Lifetime Shifts
5 March
Linear Response Theory: Lifetime Shifts<
7 March
Stochastic Calculus: Wiener Process
10 March
Stochastic Calculus: Ito Calculus
12 March
Stochastic Calculus: Ito Calculus
14 March
Review and Evaluation