Quantum and classical optics-emerging links

J. H. Eberly, Xiao Feng Qian, Asma Al Qasimi, Hazrat Ali, M. A. Alonso, R. Gutiérrez-Cuevas, Bethany J. Little, John C. Howell, Tanya Malhotra, A. N. Vamivakas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Quantum optics and classical optics are linked in ways that are becoming apparent as a result of numerous recent detailed examinations of the relationships that elementary notions of optics have with each other. These elementary notions include interference, polarization, coherence, complementarity and entanglement. All of them are present in both quantum and classical optics. They have historic origins, and at least partly for this reason not all of them have quantitative definitions that are universally accepted. This makes further investigation into their engagement in optics very desirable. We pay particular attention to effects that arise from the mere co-existence of separately identifiable and readily available vector spaces. Exploitation of these vector-space relationships are shown to have unfamiliar theoretical implications and new options for observation. It is our goal to bring emerging quantum-classical links into wider view and to indicate directions in which forthcoming and future work will promote discussion and lead to unified understanding.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number063003
JournalPhysica Scripta
Issue number6
StatePublished - 9 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are pleased to acknowledge financial support for visiting scholars provided by CONACyT of Mexico, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. We thank hosts for recent opportunities to discuss the results presented here, in the Center for Nonlinear Science, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Institut fr Quantenphysik, Universitt Ulm; 5. Physikalisches Institut, Universitat Stuttgart; Centre for Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore; Texas A & M University Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering; Beijing Computational Science Research Center; Department of Physics, Ohio State University and Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester. We also acknowledge partial financial support provided by: University of Rochester Research Award; ARO W911NF-14-1-063NSF; DARPA W31P4Q-12-1-0015; NSF Grants PHY- 1203931, PHY-1505189, INSPIRE PHY-1539859; and ONR NO: N00014-14-1-0260.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


  • Bell inequality
  • classical entanglement
  • coherence
  • complementarity
  • polarization
  • quantum-classical border


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