Physics 404/690: Quantum and Nonlinear Optics

Spring 2017

Lectures:  Monday and Wednesday, 2.00-3.20 p.m. in Small 233

Instructor: Irina Novikova

Office: Small 251
E-mail: ixnovi[at] 
Office hours: TBD
Telephone: (757) 221-3693


Pre-requisite: Phys314 Quantum Mechanics II or equivalent

Course materials

There is no required textbook for the course. The lecture note will be based, in part, on following books:

C. C. Gerry and P.L. Knight: Introductory Quantum Optics, Cambridge University Press (available on-line through Swem library)

M.O. Scully and M.S. Zubairy: Quantum Optics, Cambridge University Press (available on-line through Swem library)

P. Meystre and M. Sargent III: Elements of Quantum Optics, Springer.

R. Loudon: The Quantum Theory of Light, Oxford Science Publications.

Harvard/MIT AMO course lecture notes.

Course schedule and assignments


Graduate students:










Midterm test




Final exam


Undergraduate students:










Midterm test




Final presentation






Homework: all students will complete same weekly assignments, although graduate students will often be assigned one or two additional problems. The assignments are due Mondays (see schedule for exact dates). Late assignments are accepted for one week with 50% penalty (unless the permission from the instructor was requested before the due date).

Participation: all students are expected to participate in the in-class discussion, as they will help with exploration of new material. Participation also reflects class attendance.

Midterm: all students will complete the same in-class midterm test, covering (roughly) the first part of the course material. For the undergraduate students this is the only examination.

Final exam: only graduate students will have a take-home final exam.

Final presentation: only undergraduate students will prepare a 20 minutes final presentation based on a recently published paper relevant to one of the class topics.