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Quantum Optics$
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John Garrison and Raymond Chiao

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198508861

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198508861.001.0001

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Linear optical devices

Linear optical devices

Chapter:
(p.237) 8 Linear optical devices
Source:
Quantum Optics
Author(s):

J. C. Garrison

R. Y. Chiao

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198508861.003.0009

This chapter shows that the interaction of photons with a passive, linear device can be described by the scattering matrix of classical optics. Combining this with the paraxial approximation leads to a quantum description of lenses, mirrors, beam splitters, optical isolators, Y-junctions, optical circulators, and stops. In this way, each device is described by means of scattering channels together with input and output ports. Studying quantum noise in the transmitted and reflected signals from a beam splitter or a stop leads to the idea of partition noise, which is ascribed to vacuum fluctuations entering through a classically unused port. This effect is avoided in an optical circulator by arranging for destructive interference of vacuum fluctuation waves traveling in opposite senses of circulation around a ferrite pill containing a static magnetic field.

Keywords:   scattering matrix, beam splitter, stop, Y-junction, unused port, optical isolator, partition noise, optical circulator

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