Encyclopedia … combined with a great Buyer's Guide!

Sponsoring this encyclopedia:     and others

Quantum Optics

Definition: the part of optics which deals with quantum effects

German: Quantenoptik

Category: quantum optics

How to cite the article; suggest additional literature


Quantum optics is the part of optics (the science and technology of light) which deals with quantum effects. In many cases, such effects are studied in the context of fundamental research. However, they are also very important in laser physics:

Another area of quantum optics involves nonclassical light, such as squeezed states of light, having unusual quantum noise properties. This area is somewhat related to the topic of quantum nondemolition measurements, which make it possible, e.g., to determine the intensity of a light beam without altering it.

Quantum Technologies

Quantum optics has practical applications, e.g. quantum cryptography, which is the use of quantum effects for secure transmission of information, and quantum metrology. The applied fields are also called quantum photonics as a field within quantum technology. The following types of products are specific for those fields:


[1]W. P. Schleich et al., Quantum Optics in Phase Space, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, Weinheim (1999)
[2]D. F. Walls and G. J. Milburn, Quantum Optics, Springer, Berlin (1994)
[3]R. Loudon, The Quantum Theory of Light, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, New York (2000)

(Suggest additional literature!)

See also: quantum photonics, quantum noise, laser noise, amplifier noise, quantum cryptography, photonics
and other articles in the category quantum optics


If you like this article, share it with your friends and colleagues, e.g. via social media: