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Quantum Optics 1

Module PH2025

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2018/9 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

available module versions
WS 2018/9WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2025 is a semester module in German language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 60 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2025 is Gerhard Rempe.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  • Historical overview: e.g. basics of light-matter interaction
  • Coherent light-matter interaction: including Bloch equations and Rabi oscillations
  • Coherent light propagation: including self-induced transparency and solitons
  • Decoherence effects in the light-matter interaction: rate equations and saturation effects, line widening mechanisms, etc.
  • Linear and nonlinear Maxwell-Bloch equations: including light amplification and laser theory, phase transition analogy
  • Real lasers: functional principle and properties, laser types, etc.
  • Laser spectroscopy: e.g. line width and saturation spectroscopy, hole burning

    Learning Outcome

      After successful participation in this module, the students will be able to:

    • understand basic questions and methods of quantum optics
    • discuss the concepts of coherent light-matter interaction and its applications in the propagation of laser light
    • explain nonlinear intensity effects in the light-matter interaction
    • describe theoretical functional principles of a laser and their experimental implementation
    • make methods of laser-based nonlinear spectroscopy comprehensible


    No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

    Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

    Courses and Schedule

    VO 2 Quantum Optics 1 Rempe, G. Wed, 10:00–12:00, PH II 127
    UE 2 Exercise to Quantum Optics 1
    Responsible/Coordination: Rempe, G.
    Wed, 08:00–10:00, PH II 127
    and dates in groups

    Learning and Teaching Methods

    This module consistes of a lecture and exercises. The lecture concentrates on the presentation and discussion of universal effects of quantum optics, which are applied in all laser-based research fields. Using selected examples, the calculation of the underlying models are quantitatively shown and intuitively explained. The experimental implementation in the laboratory is discussed qualitatively. Great importance is attached to stimulating interactive discussion with the students and among the students about what has just been learned. In the classroom session (exercise), the students are instructed to independently deepen the topics explained in the lecture through their own recherche. Using problem examples, the learning contents are practised so that the students can explain and apply what they have learnt independently. Students are involved in scientific discussions and their own analytical-physical thinking skills are promoted.


    Blackboard for the quantitative analysis of the effects, overhead projection for the discussion of experimentally obtained results and implemented experimental set-ups.


    • L. Allen & J.H. Eberly: Optical Resonance and Two-Level Atoms, Dover Publications, (1987)
    • R.W. Boyd: Nonlinear Optics, Academic Press, (2008)
    • W. Demtröder: Laser Spectroscopy, Springer, (2002)
    • L. Mandel & E. Wolf: Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics, Cambridge University Press, (1995)
    • P.W. Milonni & J.H. Eberly: Lasers, Wiley, (2010)
    • B. Saleh & M. Teich: Fundamentals of Photonics, Wiley-Interscience, (2007)
    • A.E. Siegmann: Lasers, Univ Science Books, (1986)
    • M. Weissbluth: Photon-Atom Interactions, Academic Press, (1989)

    Module Exam

    Description of exams and course work

    There will be an oral exam of about 30 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions, discussions based on sketches and simple estimations.

    For example an assignment in the exam might be:

    • Under what circumstances can light impulses propagate undisturbed through a medium?
    • Which components are needed to build a laser?
    • What types of lasers do exist?
    • What is a soliton?

    Remarks on associated module exams

    The exam for this module can be taken together with the exam to the associated follow-up module PH2026: Quantenoptik 2 / Quantum Optics 2 after the follwoing semester. In this case you need to register for both exams in the following semester.

    Exam Repetition

    The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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