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Quantum Optics Paperback – September 28, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0521435956 ISBN-10: 0521435951 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

."..Quantum Optics is very impressive and arguably the best book available for the reader who wants to get the leading edges of the field in the least amount of time." Physics Today

Book Description

The field of quantum optics has witnessed significant theoretical and experimental developments in recent years. Assuming only a background of standard quantum mechanics and electromagnetic theory, this text provides an in-depth and wide-ranging introduction to the subject.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (September 28, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521435951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521435956
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.3 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Stephen K. Parrott on November 27, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a mathematician with extensive experience in electrodynamics and
quantum mechanics. I read this book to teach myself quantum optics.
Since I read it as a self-study text,
I will review it from that perspective.

I didn't find this to be a good pedagogical book.
It is the first quantum optics book that I read,
and I didn't get much out of it.
Thinking that perhaps the problem was inadequate background,
I then read from cover to cover Elementary Quantum Optics by Gerry and Knight.
Although there are some problems with the latter
which are addressed in a separate review,
it did make more sense.

With Gerry/Knight under my belt,
I returned to reread Scully/Zubairy.
It didn't make much more sense the second time than the first.

The presentation of Scully/Zubairy is often sloppy
and too diffuse. Like too many physics texts, it
doesn't always carefully define all its symbols, and
it frequently sneaks in important assumptions
without explicit mention.
It demands a lot of guesswork from the reader.

For example, Chapter 1 tells us that

"as we will discuss in [Chapter 4],
the probability of exciting an atom ...
is governed by [formula (1.5.12)]".

This is a crucial formula, one of the most important in the book.
If the reader turns ahead to Chapter 4,
he does reassuringly find it in equation (4.2.4).
The impression given is that it has somehow been derived
in the intervening 100-odd pages.
But it hasn't,
so far as I have been able to discover.

Is this crucial formula
a new assumption of quantum optics,
or does it somehow follow from
established quantum-mechanical principles?
Read more ›
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Hui Fang on February 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Compared to Wolf and Mandel's tome "Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics", this book gives the reader a lighter job on math without him reading over 100 pages on probability theory and fourier transform. However, this book has two major drawbacks:

1. The author keeps refering to later chapters on some important concept. When I read the first two chapters, I have many undefined concept and unanswered questions, whose answer may be put in chapter 16! For those who are already familiar with this field, it may not be a problem. But a rookie may want a lucid and detailed introduction in the beginning.

2. Some calculation should be elaborated because the result is far from obvious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ulfilas on February 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
There are three topics that I found of particular interest in this book.

The first such topic was that of squeezed states in chapter 2. This topic is addressed with the help of the propagator for the quantum harmonic oscillator. The authors do not derive the propagator in this book, but suggest that it might be found in a quantum mechanics textbook. I should note that this propagator was not found in the QM textbooks that I own, but I was able to find its derivation online in the notes for the first semester of QM course given at University of Illinois (Physics 480--a course designation that has not changed in 40 years!) taught by Klaus Schulten. This derivation is found on pp.81-83 in chapter 4 of his notes.

Also of interest to me is chapter 16, which deals with squeezing via non-linear optical processes, and chapter 18 which discusses the EPR process, hidden variables, and Bell's theorem.
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