PHYS 953 Quantum and Nonlinear Optics

Class files including lecture notes, tutorials and miniprojects can be found here

PHYS 870 – Non-linear and Quantum Optics - Fall 2010

Lecture: T/U,   1:05-2:20 p.m.   CW 145

 Textbooks: Nonlinear Optics, Boyd; Introductory Quantum Optics, Gerry and Knight;

 Suggested References: Introduction to Quantum Optics, From Light Quanta to Quantum Teleportation, Paul; The Quantum Challenge, Greenstein and Zajonc; Quantum Optics, Walls and Milburn; Coherence and Quantum Optics, Mandel and Wolf; Nonlinear Optics, Shen; Nonlinear Fiber Optics, Agrawal; Handbook of Nonlinear Optics, Sutherland; Handbook of Nonlinear Optical Crystals, Dmitriev, Gurzadyan, and Nikogosyan; Electromagnetic Noise and Quantum Optical Measurements, Haus; 

Instructor: Dr. Brian R. Washburn, CW 36B, (785) 532-2263, Office hours: M/W/F 9:30-10:30 PM or by appt.

 Prerequisites:  A solid foundation in undergraduate-level quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, and optics.

 Course Objective:  The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the field of nonlinear optics, exploring the physical mechanisms, applications, and experimental techniques.  Furthermore the fundamentals of quantum optics will be taught in the second half in this course.  Connections between quantum and nonlinear optics will be highlighted throughout the semester.  My goal is for students to end up with a working knowledge of nonlinear optics and a conceptual understanding of the foundations of quantum optics.  


Exam 1

150 pts

300 pts

Exam 2

150 pts


500 pts

Final Project

200 pts

Total possible

1000 pts

 Exams:  There will be two exams during the semester.  The format will be a take-home exam to be completed over 24 hours.

 Mini-Projects:  Problems in nonlinear and quantum optics are quite involved, so traditional homework assignments will not properly teach the material.  So, the homework for this course will be in the form of mini-projects.  The mini-projects will be a detailed solution of interconnected problems related to lecture topics.  The problems will need to be solved using resources beyond the textbook and class notes.  The purpose of the mini-projects is to mimic problem-solving scenarios found in a research environment.  

There will be between 5-7 mini-projects, each given with two or more weeks for completion.  Working on the mini-projects in groups is strongly encouraged, but you will need to write up the assignment on your own. 

 Final Project:  There will be a final project for the class but no final exam.  The final project will be an investigation of a topic or problem in the areas of nonlinear and quantum optics, that will involve a literature search and some original work.  The final project will consist of three parts:

Part 1: Abstract and bibliography

Part 2: 6 page paper plus references

Part 3: 15 minute presentation 

 Late Projects:  No project will be accepted after its due date unless prior arrangements have been made. Please inform me with possible conflicts before the due date, and other arrangements will be made.

 Class Material:  Extra class materials are posted on K‑state Online, including papers and tutorials. 

Disabilities:  If you have any condition such as a physical or learning disability, which will make it difficult for you to carry out the work as I have outlined it or which will require academic accommodations, please notify me and contact the Disabled Students Office (Holton 202), in the first two weeks of the course.

 Plagiarism:  Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses and may be punished by failure on the exam, paper or project; failure in the course; and/or expulsion from the University. For more information refer to the “Academic Dishonesty” policy in K-State Undergraduate Catalog and the Undergraduate Honor System Policy on the Provost’s web page:


Copyright:  This syllabus and all lectures copyright September 2010 by Brian R. Washburn. 


Tentative Course Schedule, Nonlinear and Quantum Optics, PHYS 953, Fall 2010





Aug. 24 (T)

Class overview: review of linear optics and the semi-classical treatment of light

Review of material dispersion and absorption



Aug. 26 (U)

Introduction to nonlinear optics: the nonlinear susceptibility

―Formal definitions

―Nonlinear optics and mechanics: analogy to anharmonic motion



Aug. 31 (T)

The Maxwell’s wave equation in a nonlinear medium

Symmetry and nonlinear optical properties



Sept. 1 (U)

Second order nonlinear effects

―Coupled equations: Sum frequency and second harmonic generation

―Phase matching in second harmonic crystals


MP1 Due

Sept. 7 (T)

Second harmonic generation with ultrashort pulses

―Phasematching and bandwidth issues



Sept. 9 (U)

Difference and sum frequency generation

―Parametric amplification in crystals, optical parametric oscillators



Sept. 14 (T)

No Class (need to make this day up)



Sept. 16 (U)

No Class (need to make this day up)



Sept. 21 (T)

Applications for second harmonic generation

―Ultrashort pulse measurements



Sept. 23 (U)

Applications for second harmonic generation

―Carrier-envelope phase measurement: the f-to-2f interferometer


MP2 Due

Sept. 28 (T)

Catch up day!



Sept. 30 (U)

Third order nonlinear effects: Intensity dependent refractive index; four-wave mixing

Nonlinear fiber optics: fiber parametric oscillators

B4, B13


Oct. 5 (T)

More nonlinear fiber optics

―Pulse propagation in a third order nonlinear medium, soliton generation

B4, B13

Exam 1


Oct 6 (W)

Exam 1 Due



Oct. 7 (U)

Spontaneous and stimulated Raman scattering

―Spontaneous Raman scattering

―Stimulated Raman scattering in third order media



Oct. 12 (T)

More on stimulated Raman scattering: CARS spectroscopy



Oct. 14 (U)

Third order effects in gases: applications for short pulse generation


MP3 Due

Oct. 19 (T)

High field processes: higher harmonic generation



Oct. 21 (U)

Introduction to quantum optics: What is a photon?

―The photoelectric effect

―The Hanbury-Brown and Twiss experiment



Oct. 26 (T)

No Class (need to make this day up)



Oct. 28 (U)

What is a photon?

―The photoelectric effect revisited: Lamb and Scully

―The Aspect experiments



Nov. 2 (T)

What is a photon?

―Wheeler’s delayed choice experiment

―Quantum beat experiments



Nov. 4 (U)

Field quantization and coherent states



Nov. 9 (T)

More on coherent states


MP4 Due

Nov. 11 (U)

Interferometry with a single photon



Nov. 16 (T)

Bell’s theorem and quantum entanglement

―EPR Paradox and Bell’s Theorem


Exam 2


Nov. 17 (W)

Exam 2 Due

Final project part 1 due

Nov. 18 (U)

Optical tests of EPR: violations of the Bell’s inequality



Nov. 23 (T)

Thanksgiving Break



Nov. 25 (U)

Thanksgiving Break



Nov. 30 (T)

Nonclassical light: squeezed states



Dec. 2 (U)

Optical tests of quantum mechanics


MP5 Due

Dec. 7 (T)

Catch up day!

Final project part 2 due

Dec. 9 (U)

Final Project Presentations

Final project part 3 due

Dec. 14 (T)

Final Project Presentations: Exam Period 2:00 PM – 3:50 PM



Books: B= Boyd, Nonlinear Optics, G= Gerry and Knight, Introductory Quantum Optics;