Frontiers in quantum optics

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A. Hilger, 1986 - Science - 587 pages
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The field of quantum optics has progressed rapidly in the last twenty five years with the advent of the laser. Over much of this period the phenomena studied could be described adequately by semiclassical treatments. Quite recently however, there has been a revival of interest in genuinely quantum mechanical effects. The Malvern Symposium of December 1985 brought together world experts for a meeting which concentrated largely on these quantum effects. The presentations in this unique meeting combine review material with the very latest results and so will be of value to students of quantum optics and measurement theory at all levels. The first articles cover the exciting topic of the generation of squeezed states of light in the laboratory, and their possible uses. Experimental success has been long sought and very recently attained. The reader will find presented the state of the art in this field. Next to lasing itself, optical bistability has been the most widely studied phenomenon in quantum optics, largely for its technological promise. However, it also provides a fundamental system to study quuantum effects. Recent theoretical studies of optical bistability with small numbers of atoms are surveyed. In such situations quantum features such as antibunching become significant, and the articles in this volume should be a guide to those venturing into this challenging area. In other articles discussions of fluctuations from other noise sources and instabilities in optical bistabilty are presented in a clear and interesting way. Perhaps the least classical state on quantum optics is that describing a single photon. Recent experiments which produce such states are reviewed. A theoretical review of the photon together with some new material is given which delves deeply into relativistic quantum field theory in order to describe the concept of weakly localised photon states. The material here is very rarely presented in the context of quantum optics. The history of the theory of the quantum fluctuations in a laser is then reviewed. An off-shoot of this theory is the study of quantum chaos in dissipative systems and recent results in this new area are given in a succeeding article. There are further stimulating articles on Rydberg atom systems and quantum electrodynamics. The volume ends with an entertaining and incisive study of quantum measurement problems, such as the Schrodinger cat papadox, using concepts and measuring devices found in quantum optics.

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Effects of Optical Processing on Nonclassical Properties of Light
Generation of Squeezed States of Light
Possible Applications of Squeezed States in Interferometric Tests

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