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Current research in quantum optics (2016)

ECTS credits: 5


Course parameters:
Language: English
Level of course: PhD course
Time of year: Q3 2016
Hours per week: 2 preparation, 4 lectures
Capacity limits: None


Objectives of the course:
The goal of the course is to give students an overview into research related to quantum optics. The course will start with the introduction of basic techniques and tools necessary to understand, reproduce and discuss current research in the field. The second part of the course is devoted to understanding the state-of-the art of several paradigmatic systems: Ultracold atoms/ions, artificial atoms, quantum sensors and quantum computers.


Learning outcomes and competences:
At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Know the advantages and disadvantages of different theoretical descriptions (e.g. Heisenberg vs. Schrödinger picture) for different problems.
  • Understand the importance of measurement in a quantum system and know different measurement techniques.
  • Understand the transition from classical to non-classical physics in theory and experiment.
  • Be familiar with some very common systems of current research in quantum optics.
  • Understand and reproduce a typical current publication in the field.
  • Critically discuss and recognize the context of current research results in quantum optics.

Compulsory programme:
Active participation in every part of the course. Presentation of a recent scientific paper.


Course contents:
Master equations, phase-space representations, input/output formalism, reservoir characterization, measurement theory, non-classical states, harmonic oscillators vs. two-level systems.


Advanced quantum mechanics, or similar course.


Name of lecturers:
Prof. Klaus Mølmer (Responsible), Dr. Lukas Buchmann, Dr. Ralf Blattmann


Type of course/teaching methods:
The course will take the form of a study group.
For the first part of the course it will be lectures/discussions assisted by different textbooks/lecture notes. The second part will have typically a preparatory discussion within the group with help of recent literature, a guest lecturer talking about his/her expertise and a discussion of the lecturers presentation. In the final week students are expected to create presentations themselves, which will be discussed within the group.


A quantum physics / quantum optics textbook, e.g. Millburn and Walls, Meystre, Petrosyan and Lambropoulos or similar.
Supplementary notes
Scientific papers and reviews.


Course homepage:


Course assessment:
Approval of final presentation (Passed/Not Passed).


Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University


Special comments on this course:


Q3 2016


To be announced


Deadline for registration is Thursday, 21 January 2016.  Information regarding admission will be sent out no later than Saturday, 23 January 2016.

For registration:

If you have any questions, please contact Lukas Buchmann, e-mail:


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Revised 05.11.2018