Quantum physics of simple optical instruments

Ulf Leonhardt

Research output: Other contribution

101 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Simple optical instruments are linear optical networks where the incident light modes are turned into equal numbers of outgoing modes by linear transformations. For example, such instruments are beam splitters, multiports, interferometers, fibre couplers, polarizers, gravitational lenses, parametric amplifiers, phase-conjugating mirrors and also black holes. The paper develops the quantum theory of simple optical instruments and applies the theory to a few characteristic situations, to the splitting and interference of photons and to the manifestation of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen correlations in parametric downconversion. How to model irreversible devices such as absorbers and amplifiers is also shown. Finally, the paper develops the theory of Hawking radiation for a simple optical black hole. The paper is intended as a primer, as a nearly self-consistent tutorial. The reader should be familiar with basic quantum mechanics and statistics, and perhaps with optics and some elementary field theory. The quantum theory of light in dielectrics serves as the starting point and, in the concluding section, as a guide to understand quantum black holes.

Original languageEnglish
Volume66
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003

Keywords

  • LINEAR DIRECTIONAL COUPLER
  • DISCRETE WIGNER FUNCTION
  • PODOLSKY-ROSEN PARADOX
  • BLACK-HOLE EVAPORATION
  • LOSSLESS BEAM SPLITTER
  • PARAMETRIC AMPLIFICATION
  • PHOTON STATISTICS
  • SQUEEZED STATES
  • EXPERIMENTAL REALIZATION
  • HETERODYNE-DETECTION

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