4 ECTS credits
100 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 4016065FNR for all students in the 2nd semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Taught in
Partnership Agreement
Under interuniversity agreement for degree program
Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen
Applied Physics and Photonics
Educational team
Guy Van Der Sande (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
32 contact hours Lecture
8 contact hours Seminar, Exercises or Practicals
Course Content
Quantum optics - Photonics - Coherence - Photon counting - Quantum interferences - Atom-light interaction - Single-photon sources - Two-photon sources
This course is organized in four parts. Part 1 covers statistical properties of light. In this part, you will study classical statistical optics, the quantization of the free electromagnetic field, quantum states of light, quantum interferometry and the quantum theory of optical coherence. Part 2 teaches you about the interaction of light with matter, including the structure of atoms, and the weak and strong atom-light coupling. Part 3 addresses single-photon and two-photon light sources. Finally, Part 4 introduces some modern topics in quantum optics, such as linear optical quantum computing, teleportation, quantum key distribution, and phase super resolution and super sensitivity.
Course material
Course text (Required) : The study material consists of lecture slides and exercise sheets, Edouard Brainis
Handbook (Recommended) : Quantum Optics, An Introduction, M. Fox, Oxford University Press, 9780198566731, 2006
Handbook (Recommended) : The quantum theory of light, R. Loudon, 3de, Oxford University Press, 9780198501763, 2000
Handbook (Recommended) : Fundamentals of quantum optics and quantum information, P. Lambropoulos and D. Petrosyan, Springer, 9783642070952, 2007
Handbook (Recommended) : Statistical Optics, J.W. Goodman, BIB, 9780471399162, 2000
Handbook (Recommended) : Optical coherence and quantum optics, L. Mandel and E. Wolf, Cambridge University Press, 9780521417112, 1995
Handbook (Recommended) : Quantum Optics, M.O. Scully and M.S. Zubairy, Cambridge University Press, 9780521435956, 1997
Additional info
The Quantum Optics course offers the students a broad introduction to the principles and applications of quantum optics. It covers those aspects of optical science in which the quantum nature of the electromagnetics field is of primary relevence. Exemples of topics covered in this courses are: optical coherence, quantum effects in optical interferometry, interaction of light with elementary quantum systems (such as atoms and quantum dots) in free space and in resonators, quantum effects associated to optical nonlinear interactions.

A good background on Optics, Statistics and Quantum Mechanics is required. In case of no previous background on Quantum Mechanics, taking the course "Introduction to Quantum Physics for Electrical Engineering" of the European Master of Science in Photonics is mandatory.

Learning Outcomes

Algemene competenties

After the course the student will be able to start reading specialized litterature in the field and understand conference presentations. He will not only master the formalism of the quantum optics, but also understand the most important experimental techniques for generating and detecting quantum states of light. He will be ready to start a PhD in Quantum Optics or any related field. More specifically, the student will get insight into the quantization of the electromagnetic field, quantum and classical coherence theory, direct and correlated photon counting methods, spontaneous emission and Purcell enhancement, few-photon interferometry, laser cooling and trapping of atoms, generation of single photons and photon-pairs, cavity quantum electrodynamics, quantum information processing.


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Oral Exam determines 100% of the final mark.

Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • oral exam with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 100% of the final mark.

    Note: Oral examination

Additional info regarding evaluation

The exam consists of a single oral exam for the full grade. More details on the organization of the exam will be communicated to the students via the canvas page.

Allowed unsatisfactory mark
The supplementary Teaching and Examination Regulations of your faculty stipulate whether an allowed unsatisfactory mark for this programme unit is permitted.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of Photonics Engineering: Standaard traject (only offered in Dutch)
Master of Photonics Engineering: On campus traject
Master of Photonics Engineering: Online/Digital traject