Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


8.05 Quantum Physics II 

Main Topics

  • Quantum states and dynamics of photons.
  • Photon-Atom interactions: basics and semiclassical approximations.
  • Photon-Atom interactions: open system dynamics, optical Bloch equations.
  • Applications and limits of the optical Bloch equations: dressed atoms, light force, decoherence.
  • Cold atoms, quantum states, and quantum dynamics: quantum algorithms and protocols, ion traps, magnetic traps, evaporative cooling, Bose-Einstein condensation.


There will be ten problem sets. Assignments will usually be due one week after they have been handed out. There will be no quiz or final exam, but a term paper at the end of the course. This will be a paper in the style of a publication in Physical Review Letters on a topic of mutual interest (see below). The term paper and the homework have equal weight for the total grade. The term paper will be due on the day of the last class.


Assignments 50%
Term Paper 50%


1 Introduction  
2 QED Hamiltonian  
3 Quantum description of light  
4 Non-classical light, squeezing  
5 Single photons Homework 1 due
6 Entangled states  
7 Metrology, shot noise and Heisenberg limit  
8 g_2 for atoms and light  
9 Diagrams for light-atom interactions Homework 2 due
10 Van der Waals and Casimir interactions Homework 3 due
11 Casimir force Homework 4 due
12 Resonant interactions  
13 Derivation of optical Bloch equations  
14 Solutions of optical Bloch equations Homework 5 due
15 Unraveling Open System Quantum Dynamics  
16 Light forces part 1 and part 2 Homework 6 due
17 Dressed atom part 1 and part 2  
18 Techniques for ultralow temperatures (magnetic trapping, evap. cooling) Homework 7 due
19 Bose gases, BEC, superfluid to Mott insulator transition Homework 8 due
20 Fermi gases, BEC-BCS crossover Homework 9 due
21 Ion trapping and quantum gates Homework 10 due