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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Mystery and use of quantum optics: how to teach it to undergraduate students?
Author(s): Hans-Albert Bachor

Paper Abstract

Photons and laser beams provide an ideal situation to discuss some of the mysteries of quantum physics. There are many additional fundamental features which are not accessible with a classical system such as an electric current, which include: quantum noise, the uncertainty relation and correlations between different laser beams. Not only is the difference between the quantum behavior of photons and classical waves a curious effect, it is also important in many technical applications and forms the basis of future technologies, such as improved optical sensors or quantum cryptography. Using the example of a simple beam splitter and its effect on a laser beam one can explore these mysterious quantum effect with undergraduate students. We will discuss a systematic series of cases, using the beam splitter, which identify the difference between the quantum and the classical world. We will present the technical details of an experiment suitable for third year students that demonstrate genuine quantum noise effects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 2002
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4588, Seventh International Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics, (28 May 2002);
Show Author Affiliations
Hans-Albert Bachor, Australian National Univ. (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4588:
Seventh International Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics
Tuan-Kay Lim; Robert P. Breault; Arthur H. Guenther; Arthur H. Guenther, Editor(s)

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