Proposal for a summer school on Coherence and Quantum Optics

The striking advances in the classical theory of optical
coherence in the decade before 1960 have now been followed
by an equally striking - and almost certainly more important -
development in the quantum theory of optical phenomena. Glauber's
'coherent state' formulation of quantum electrodynamics seems to be
the appropriate medium for discussing the profound questions
posed by the 'optical beat' experiment of Forrester, Gudmundsen
and Johnson, the optical intensity correlation experiment of Hanbury
Brown and Twiss, the development of the laser, and subsequent
related phenomena, and gives a new insight into the different
characters of the fields encountered in traditional physical
optics on the one hand and in laser optics and radio-physics on the
other. Sophisticated experimental studies of photon statistics
offer a new technique for the study of the interaction of radiation
and matter in non-linear systems - crystals and plasmas - and
interest in the underlying theories is rapidly growing among workers
in many fields.

A summer school on Quantum Optics and Electronics was held at
Les Houches in 1964, and the lectures delivered there have been
published (Gordon and Breach, New York, 1965). There was a
summer school on related topics in western Canada in 1965. The
subject is developing so rapidly that another in 1967 or 1968
would not be premature.

Possible topics, and suitable speakers, might be:

The quantum theory of radiation: G. Toraldo di Francia (Florence) W. Louisell (Bell Telephones) C. Cohen-Tannoudji (E.N.S.-Paris) The density matrix C. Cohen-Tannoudji (E.N.S.-Paris) P. Barrat (Caen) S. Pancharatnam (Oxford) Quantum theory of coherence and correlation processes R. Glauber (Harvard) Photon statistics in linear and non-linear processes F.T. Arecchi (Milan) T.P. McLean (R.R.E.) Y.R. Shen (Berkeley) Non-linear optical processes In crystals P. Franken (Ann Arbor) 0.S. Heavens (York) Quantum oscillators, and the gas laser H. Haken (Stuttgart) Coherence in scattering processes G.W. Series (Oxford) The interaction of strong radiation fields with free electrons T.W.B. Kibble (Imperial College)

Richard M. Sillitto
4th October, 1966