ELEC_ENG 425: Introduction to Nanoscale Lasers, Quantum Noise, Photons, & Measurement

This course is not currently offered.


Course materials will assume that you have taken a course in quantum mechanics (at undergraduate level) or with the permission of instructor.


The students are first introduced to the theory of atom-field interactions, then apply it to understand the physics behind microcavity lasers and nanolasers, such as thresholdless lasing and ultrafast modulation rate in these lasers. The theory is also applied to understand what is "quantum jump" in photodetection, that is related to quantum noise, the concept of photon propagation, and measurement. The course will enable the students to gain an advanced understanding of lasers, nanophotonics, and fundamental quantum noise in optical systems (quantum noises are key to understanding measurement limits imposed by quantum mechanics and wave-particle nature of the world that is central to quantum mechanics). This course is useful for students in nanophotonics, solid states, nonlinear optics, biophotonics,  quantum optics, or quantum computing area. Undergraduate students with advanced standing are welcome.


Printed Lecture Notes will be given. No text book needed.


Grading will be based on homework and literature research. Undergraduate students will be graded separately more lightly.

For any questions regarding the course, please contact Prof. Ho at:


  1. Semiclassical theory of atom-field interaction
  2. Application to laser linewidth and noise
  3. Quantum theory of atom-field interaction in Heisenberg picture
  4. Application to microcavity and nanoscale lasers
  5. Modification of spontaneous decay rate in micro optical cavity
  6. The physics of Purcell factor and spontaneous emission coupling factor
  7. Thresholdless lasing, ultrafast modulation rate, and quantum light emission
  8. The physics of quantum jump and quantum noise.
  9. Quantum noise in lasers, optical amplifiers, and photodetectors.
  10. The concept of photon propagation and photon measurement.


Prof. Seng-Tiong Ho, Professor, ECE. Office: Tech M377; Tel: (847)491-7103. Email: