ISC Course Quantum Optics

PD Dr. Salvatore R. Manmana, Institute for Theoretical Physics, helped as a partner and supervisor.

In the course on quantum optics, the participants investigated the quantum mechanical foundations of the interaction of light with matter. They measured absorption and fluorescence spectra and used digital oscilloscopes to quantify fluorescence lifetime. With this knowledge, laser systems were set up, which could be used as coherent light sources for the investigation of superposition and interference in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer. With a setup for generation and detection of single photons, the participants investigated the correlations in the detection of photons thus verifying the quantized nature of light. Subsequently they used simulations and mathematical representations to study the behavior of single photons in Mach-Zehnder interferometers. As the relevant quantum mechanical states and the effect of optical components correspond to qubits and fundamental quantum gates, the participants experienced a technological realization of quantum computers. To the end of the course, the used remote access to IBM quantum computers to execute code on real quantum computers. In an excursion to the department of theoretical physics at the University of Göttingen, the participants learned about fundamental differences between classical physics and quantum physics and got answers to individual questions in an extended discussion with PD Dr. Salvatore R. Manmana.