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Nonclassical Light

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Ask RP Photonics for advice concerning nonclassical light. Note that Dr. Paschotta has obtained his Ph. D. title for research on the generation of nonclassical light, and is very familiar with various generation and detection techniques in this context.

Definition: light with properties which can be explained only within quantum optics

German: nichtklassisches Licht

Categories: fluctuations and noise, quantum optics

How to cite the article; suggest additional literature

Nonclassical light is light with nonclassical quantum noise properties, which can be understood only on the basis of quantum optics. The most common forms of nonclassical light are the following:

Nonclassical light is often generated either in nonlinear devices such as in sub-threshold optical parametric oscillators or frequency doublers, or in systems with only a single atom or ion (or just a few such emitters), such as a single-atom laser. It is relevant in fundamental quantum physics and also in the context of some high-precision measurements, such as for gravitational wave detection.


[1]R. J. Glauber, “Coherent and incoherent states of the radiation field”, Phys. Rev. 131 (6), 2766 (1963)
[2]D. Walls, “Squeezed states of light”, Nature 306, 141 (1983)
[3]H. J. Kimble and D. Walls (eds.), Special Issue on Squeezed Light, J. Opt. Soc. Am B 4 (10) (1987)

(Suggest additional literature!)

See also: quantum optics, quantum noise, squeezed states of light, parametric amplification, single-atom lasers

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