Introduction to Quantum Electronics and Nonlinear Optics

Course Description

This 4-unit course is devoted to a review of basics and some of the exciting developments in the vast and rapidly evolving field of quantum electronics and nonlinear optics. Discussion of physical pictures and "back of the envelope" estimates will take precedence over formal derivations wherever possible. There are no prerequisites for enrollment. Undergraduates familiar with the basics of electrodynamics and quantum mechanics are welcome. The topics will include:

  • Nonlinear susceptibilities, wave propagation in nonlinear media, electrooptical and magnetooptical effects, linear and nonlinear Faraday rotation. (3 lectures)
  • Acoustooptics. (1)
  • Gaussian optics, optical resonators. (2)
  • Laser dynamics: modelocking, Q-switching. Ultrashort pulses. (2)
  • Description of some important laser systems. (3)
  • Harmonic generation, sum and difference frequency generation, phase matching, quasi-phase matching. (2)
  • Parametric oscillation. (1)
  • Superradiance, photon echoes, self-induced transparency. (2)
  • Coherence and fluctuations in quantum optics, squeezed states of light. (2)
  • Raman and Brillouin scattering. (1)
  • High-resolution laser spectroscopy: two-photon and multiphoton processes, optical pumping, hole burning, saturation and polarization spectroscopy. (3)
  • Four-wave mixing, wavefront conjugation. (2)
  • Format: Two 1.5 hour lectures/discussions a week: MW 9:30 - 11, 430 Birge. Several sets of homework problems will be distributed during the semester. In the end of the course, students will be required to give oral presentations to the class on current research topics.


    D. Budker.
    Office: 219 Birge,
    Labs: B217, 217, 221, 230 Birge,
    tel. 643-1829
    e-mail: .
    Office hour: M 11-12, 219 Birge.

    Texts: There is no required text, however several texts are highly recommended:

    Many additional references will be suggested throughout the course.

    Suggested topics for presentation (other suggestions are welcome):


    Recommended Reading on Squeezed States

    A pictorial introduction to the field of non-classical light. A good place to start. A great theoretical introduction. Also, check out other articles in this Special Issue devoted to squeezing. This is also a Special Issue devoted to squeezing. It contains the following articles (and many others):

    R. E. Slusher et al , Squeezed-light generation by four-wave mixing near an atomic resonance. It describes an improved version of the experiment in which squeezing was observed for the first time.

    Ling-An Wu et al, Squeezed states of light from an optical parametric oscillator.

    The famous paper introducing the concept of vacuum noise entering the unused port of a beamsplitter and pointing out a possibility in principle to beat the shot-noise limit in an interferometer by using squeezed light. Also discusses ways to generate squeezed states in practice.