PHYS 685: Quantum Optics II (Winter 2011)

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: 24910
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, with extra topics chosen according to interests of the class.


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 Wednesday, 16 March, 2011, 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 (topics will be chosen according to class interest and time constraints). 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
3 January
5 January
7 January
10 January
12 January
14 January
17 January
No Class: MLK Day
19 January
21 January
24 January
26 January
28 January
31 January
2 February
4 February
7 February
QELS planning meeting; class to be rescheduled
9 February
11 February
14 February
16 February
18 February
21 February
23 February
25 February
28 February
2 March
4 March
7 March
9 March
11 March