Cambridge Catalogue  
  • Help
Home > Catalogue > Essential Quantum Optics
Essential Quantum Optics

Resources and solutions

This title has free online support material available.


  • 67 b/w illus. 219 exercises
  • Page extent: 290 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.59 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521145053)

Covering some of the most exciting trends in quantum optics - quantum entanglement, teleportation, and levitation - this textbook is ideal for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. The book journeys through the vast field of quantum optics following a single theme: light in media. A wide range of subjects are covered, from the force of the quantum vacuum to astrophysics, from quantum measurements to black holes. Ideas are explained in detail and formulated so that students with little prior knowledge of the subject can follow them. Each chapter ends with several short questions followed by a more detailed homework problem, designed to test the reader and show how the ideas discussed can be applied. Solutions to homework problems are available at

• Covers quantum entanglement, teleportation, and levitation • Ideas are explained in detail so students with little prior knowledge of the subject can follow them • Contains short questions and detailed homework problems to help readers with independent studies


1. Introduction; 2. Quantum field theory of light; 3. Simple quantum states of light; 4. Quasiprobability distributions; 5. Simple optical instruments; 6. Irreversible processes; 7. Entanglement; 8. Horizons; Appendixes; References; Index.


'A masterful and beautifully written exposition of the theoretical ideas and tools of quantum optics that every serious student or researcher, theorist or experimentalist, should have under their belt. Leonhardt tells a connected story, while making each discussion as 'simple as possible, but not simpler'.' Michael G. Raymer, University of Oregon

'I used Ulf Leonhardt's 'Measuring the Quantum State of Light' (MQSL) in my quantum optics course when the book first appeared in 1997, and wished it were longer. Leonhardt writes in a lucid prose that moves quickly from basics to deep applications in clever, efficient derivations that are accessible to advanced undergraduates. Essential Quantum Optics expands the earlier work and breaks new pedagogical ground with a 'Horizons' chapter on the intersection of optics and general relativity. Topics like Unruh and Hawking radiation are beautifully explained and related to concepts more familiar to the optics and atomic physics community. Leonhardt and colleagues after all 'wrote the book' on some of these topics, and we can be grateful that he has taken the time to explain them here to a broad audience. Other new features are a chapter on irreversible processes and a careful treatment of the Casimir effect (in a technically more advanced Appendix) for which many who have struggled with the literature on this effect will be grateful. There will be disagreement on what is 'essential' to know about quantum optics. The topics that are included, however, are well motivated and treated with elegance and insight. The figures are outstanding. Questions and exercises at the end of each chapter are well chosen and touch on some of the missing topics. Essential Quantum Optics rises to a very high standard for technical exposition. It is an ideal text for this subject.' John Marburger, Stony Brook University

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis