Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Experimental Techniques in Quantum Optics PHYS5056

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The scope of this course is to provide an introductory overview to some of the basic techniques that are commonly used in a quantum optics lab.

 

A short series of lectures will overview the basic techniques and recent examples of important scientific developments in the following topics:

 

1) generation of entangled photon pairs

2) single photon detection techniques and measurement of photon entanglement

3) ghost imaging

4) Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometry

 

Lectures will also involve home-reading of original scientific articles that will be assigned during the course. Time slots will then be devoted during each lecture to discuss these articles.

 

Following the lectures, a series of lab-based experiments will be carried out with the aim of investigating specific aspects of the technologies discussed during the lectures. These will be group-based projects (3-4 students max per project) with the expectation that each group will perform at least 2 out of 4 of the planned experiments.

Timetable

Lectures will be used during the first 3 weeks of the course and will involve a self-taught component of reading original scientific articles that will be assigned during the course. Time slots will then be devoted during each lecture to discuss these articles.

 

Following the lectures, a series of lab-based experiments will be carried out with the aim of investigating specific aspects of the technologies discussed during the lectures. These will be group-based projects (3-4 students max per project) with the expectation that each group will perform at least 2 out of 4 of the planned experiments. This will take place during week 4-9

 

The final week will be allocated for project presentations, to be marked by academic staff members. Students will provide peer feedback

Requirements of Entry

None

Excluded Courses

None

Co-requisites

None

Assessment

1) Continuous assessment from the students writing up formal records of the 2 out of 4 practical exercises. This will be examined based on the experiment reports (50%).

2) Dissertation on a research paper which has been introduced during the lecture module (25%)

3) End of course oral examination to test knowledge (25%). This will be marked by academics.

Course Aims

To provide students with an opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of the key physical principles underpinning widely used techniques in quantum optics. In particular students will cover practical sessions in the following areas;

 

1) generation of entangled photon pairs

2) single photon detection techniques and measurement of photon entanglement

3) ghost imaging

4) Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometry

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

 

1) Describe how the basic elements of a quantum optics experiment work; photon pair generation and single photon detection

2) Describe the basic operating principle of a single photon avalanche diode

3) Describe the physical concepts underlying the Hon-Ou-Mandel interferometer

4) Describe the operating principle of ghost imaging and how to build a ghost imaging setup using both a quantum light source and a classical light source

5) Describe at least one approach to analysing the degree of entanglement between two photons

6) Demonstrate a quantum optics setup which utilises either entangled photon pairs, single photon detection techniques or ghost imaging

7) Describe how the basic elements of a quantum interferometer work, being able to explain the idea of shot noise squeezing.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.