While coherence phenomena have long been familiar in the context of light waves, their manifestation in the context of matter waves is an exciting development of much more recent origins. While this is true this course aims to introduce the basic concepts needed to understand coherent phenomena, and more important the relevant experiments to probe such properties. We will study classical as well as non-classical correlations which can be properties of light and matter. Naturally, we will start to study the concepts with classical light and photons after brief revisiting classical electrodynamics, quantum mechancis as well as atomic physics. We will discuss photon statistics and noise, meet correlation functions, discuss important experiments such as a famous Hanbury-Brown and Twiss intensity interferometer. We will then discuss non-classical states sch as coherent and sqyeezed states as well as number or Fock states. We will then discuss atom-light interaction as in cavity-QED and as relevant for the generation of cold atoms. Finally, some applications of coherent light and coherent matter may include the discussion of examples such as Bose-Einstein condensation, quantum entanglement as well as selected topics from decoherence theory and quantum computing.
The approach in this lecture is more phenomonological than strict mathematical, while we will introduce the typical mathematical tools to evaluate coherence. We hope that this will provide students with an ideal basis to understand coherent phenomena in all kinds of physical systems.
Pre-requisites: PHYS3002 AND PHYS3004 AND PHYS3007 AND PHYS3008