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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Atomic and Optical Physics: Quantum States and Dynamics of Photons

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

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In this physics course, you will learn about the quantum description of light with applications to squeezed states of light and teleportation as well as the non-classical states of light and single photons. You will learn how to do metrology with light. You will also learn about correlations with photons as well as atom correlation functions.

This course is a part of a series of courses to introduce fundamental concepts and current frontiers of atomic physics, and to prepare you for cutting-edge research:

  • 8.422.1x: Quantum States and Dynamics of Photons
  • 8.422.2x: Atom-photon Interactions
  • 8.422.3x: Optical Bloch Equations and Open System Dynamics
  • 8.422.4x: Light Forces and Laser Cooling
  • 8.422.5x: Ultracold Atoms and Ions for Many-body Physics and Quantum Information Science

At MIT, the content of these five courses makes up the second of a two-semester sequence (8.421 and 8.422) for graduate students interested in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics. This sequence is required for Ph.D. students doing research in this field.

In these five courses you will learn about the following topics: quantum states and dynamics of photons, photon-atom interactions: basics and semiclassical approximations, open system dynamics, optical Bloch equations, applications and limits of the optical Bloch equations, dressed atoms, light force, laser cooling, cold atoms, evaporative cooling, Bose-Einstein condensation, quantum algorithms and protocols, ion traps and magnetic traps.

Completing this series allows you to pursue advanced study and research in cold atoms, as well as specialized topics in condensed matter physics.

Taught by

Wolfgang Ketterle, David E. Pritchard and Isaac Chuang


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