Physics 404/581: Quantum and Nonlinear Optics

Spring 2018

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, or instructor permission

Course materials

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

Harvard/MIT AMO course lecture notes

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

Course schedule and assignments


Graduate students:










Midterm test




Final exam


Undergraduate students:










Midterm test




Final presentation






Homework: all students will complete same weekly assignments. Each assignment will include additional problems exclusively for graduate students, which focus on applications of graduate-level mathematical and computational methods. 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 have a take-home final exam, which will consist of two or three advanced (graduate-level) problems, and will likely require application of concepts from graduate-level quantum mechanics.

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.