Prospective students

A very important component of our plan is a new laboratory course aimed at giving students hands-on experience with modern optical phenomena and instrumentation.

Departmental coursework involved in the IGERT progam will include:

Condensed Matter Physics (CMP, 3 quarters, Physics); Advanced Physics of Materials (APM, MS&E); Electricity and Magnetism (E&M, 2-quarters, Physics); Electronic Materials (EM, MS&E): Quantum Mechanics (QM, 3-quarters, Physics); Quantum Electronics I, II (QE, 2-quarters, EECS); Quantum Optics (QO, 1-quarter, EECS and Physics); Non-linear Optics (NLO, 1-quarter, ECS and Physics); Concepts in Quantum Mechanics (Chem 442-1, Chem 442-2, Chemistry); Quantum Modeling (Chem 448, Chemistry). All of these courses are also suitable for the Masters component of our plan.


New courses designed specifically for the IGERT program will include:

BEC of Trapped Atoms and Confined Excitons (BEC): will cover the basic physics of BEC starting with the ideal gas and Bogolubov theory. Trapping and cooling methods for atoms and phenomena associated with the condensed state will be discussed. The physics, and potential for BEC, of excitons in semiconductors, both in bulk and in thin films, hetrostructures, and quantum dots, will be treated with special emphasis on Cu2O and CuCl. Will be taught by Ketterson and listed under Physics; Garg will help with course development.

Cavity Electrodynamics (CED): will focus on atom-photon interactions in microcavities. Examples will be drawn from photonic-band gap, disk/ring, elliptical disk, and random microcavities. It will examine the strong- and weak-coupling regimes and potential applications. Topics covered will include: spontaneous emission in microcavities, generation of non-classical light from microcavity lasers, microcavities in nonlinear optical interactions, modifications of the quantized vacuum field in a microcavity, nano-waveguide, and dielectric structures. Will be taught Ho and listed jointly under EECS and Physics.

Quantum Information Processing and Computing (QIPC): will cover the now established body of knowledge that is the basis of quantum computing, communication, etc., paying attention to both the foundational aspects, as well as the most promising architectures and implementations. Since the instructors are active in the field we expect a great deal of reliance on in-house material, but a text such as “Quantum Information and Quantum Computing” by Nielsen and Chuang (Cambridge (2000)) might also be used. Will be taught by Yuen or Garg and listed jointly under EECS and Physics.

Coherent molecular excitations (CME): will discuss coherence, dephasing, and decoherence, wavepacket dynamics and methods to calculate ground and excited state electronic properties of molecules together with their numerical implementation. The course will emphasis open questions in quantum mechanics and coherent control. Will be taught by Seidman and listed jointly under Chemistry and Physics.

Photonic structures (PS): will focus on the design, simulation, and fabrication of nanophotonic structures, including waveguides and devices based on high-refractive index contrast materials, various types of nano-photonic passive waveguide devices (including PBG structures, bends, couplers, mode transformers, optical cavities, slow-light structures, superprism, optical wavelength Mux/Demux) and various types of novel active devices such as nanolasers, micro-modulators, critically coupled resonance photo-detectors realizable with nanophotonic structures. Will be taught by Ho and listed jointly under EECS and MS&E. Quantum Electronics III: will be an extension of Quantum Electronics I and II listed above (which treats traditional topics such as the quantum theory of lasers), and cover the concepts used to produce and manipulate coherent matter waves (especially those based on neutral atoms), and applications thereof including atomic interferometry, slow- and fast-light, and quantum information processing. Will be taught by Shahriar and listed under EECS.

Schematic illustration of the inter-relation between the existing, IGERT-relevant graduate courses, the proposed IGERT courses, and the research themes.


Further laboratory resources will be created for the IGERT program. All the experimentalists associated with the team will contribute the necessary time (with no payback) to establish this lab. Table I lists the proposed experiments and the faculty who will both set them up as well supervise the students taking the lab. Note that the recent emergence of fiber-optic-based lasers, spectrometers, and other components now allows establishing wide ranging capabilities (and with it a wide variety of experiments) for a relatively modest investment, given the resulting capabilities The budget section lists the proposed equipment items and the associated costs.


Note the IGERT lab will not “belong” to any particular faculty member, but will be an educational resource featuring modern fiber-optics-based instrumentation, and shared by the participating departments. Of course it will be available for IGERT student use under the supervision of their advisers when not utilized for instructional purposes. To insure the integrity of the laboratory, one of the IGERT faculty will take responsibility for it on a rotating basis.

Table 1: Proposed Experiments for the IGERT Laboratory




Faculty in Charge



Photon Counting

To acquire basic knowledge and experimental skills in performing photon counting experiments


Gated Photon Counter, CW and Pulsed Lasers, EO switch, Optical Attenuator


Frequency Doubling and Mixing

To learn the basic experimental skills in nonlinear optics


1.5 and 1 micron pulsed lasers with frequency doubling. Nonlinear crystals


Twin Photon Generation

Generation of twin photons in the 800nm wavelength range using frequency down conversion from 405nm blue light


Photon Counter, Nonlinear Crystal, Blue Diode Laser


Bell ’s Inequality

Studying bell inequality using twin photons


Photon Counter, Nonlinear Crystal, Blue Diode Laser


Quantum-Dot Microcavity Decay Rate Experiments

Studying cavity QED effect by measuring the modification of  quantum dot decay rates in microdisk cavity


Gated Photon Counter, Frequency Doubled 0.5 micron pulsed laser, EO switch


Semi-conductor Exciton Dynamics

Studying the temporal and spectral dynamics of exciton emissions under ultrafast femtosecond pulsed excitation


Gated Photon Counter, Freq-Doubled 0.5 micron pulsed laser, EO switch

More information on the nationwide IGERT program is available at their website.

The current website is still under construction. More information will be added as it is available.

For immediate questions, please e-mail J.B. Ketterson.