This textbook offers a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the basic ideas in modern quantum optics, beginning with a review of the whole of optics, and culminating in the quantum description of light. The book emphasizes the phenomenon of interference as the key to understanding the behavior of light, and discusses distinctions between the classical and quantum nature of light. Laser operation is reviewed at great length and many applications are covered, such as laser cooling, Bose condensation and the basics of quantum information and teleportation. Quantum mechanics is introduced in detail using the Dirac notation, which is explained from first principles. In addition, a number of non-standard topics are covered such as the impossibility of a light-based Maxwell's demon, the derivation of the Second Law of thermodynamics from the first-order time-dependent quantum perturbation theory, and the concept of Berry's phase. The book emphasizes the physical basics much more than the formal mathematical side, and is ideal for a first, yet in-depth, introduction to the subject. Five sets of problems with solutions are included to further aid understanding of the subject.
Vlatko Vedral is a professor at Leeds University heading a new group in Quantum Information Science. He has previously held positions at Oxford University and Imperial College London and visiting positions in Vienna and Waterloo. He has published over 80 research papers in quantum optics, quantum information and quantum physics, and has frequently been interviewed by the media about his work.
From Geometry to the Quantum; Introduction to Lasers; Properties of Light: Blackbody Radiation; Interaction of Light with Matter I; Basic Optical Processes -- Still Classical; More Detailed Principles of Lasers; Interaction of Light with Matter II; Two Level Systems; Field Quantization; Interaction of Light with Matter III; Some Recent Applications of Quantum Optics; Closing Lines; Problems and Solutions.