PHYS 685: Quantum Optics II (Winter 2010)

Instructor: Daniel A. Steck
Office: 277 Willamette      Phone: 346-5313      email:
Office hours: walk-in or by appointment (best to email first)
Course home page:

Schedule: MWF 11:00-12:00, 318 Willamette
Course reference number: 26490
Credits: 4
Prerequisites: PHYS 684

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

Course overview

This course is a continuation of Mike Raymer's course 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 take-home final exam. The relative weights will be as follows:

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

Final exam: the final exam is a take-home exam, due during the reguarly scheduled time of Tuesday, 16 March, 2010, at noon.

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 list of topics to cover in this course. The actual list of topics by lecture will be posted throughout the term on the notes page.

Here is a calendar for the course; due to travel commitments, some courses will be rescheduled at a time convenient for the majority of the class.

Monday Wednesday Friday
4 January
Travel to Los Alamos; class to be rescheduled
6 January
8 January
11 January
13 January
15 January
18 January
No Class: MLK Day
20 January
22 January
25 January
U. Toronto seminar; class to be rescheduled
27 January
29 January
1 February
3 February
5 February
8 February
10 February
12 February
15 February
QELS planning meeting; class to be rescheduled
17 February
19 February
22 February
24 February
26 February
1 March
3 March
5 March
8 March
10 March
12 March