Quantum optics deals with the interaction between light and matter and the very peculiar behaviour of light at very low intensities, where it appears only in indivisible wavepackets (called photons) whose energy is proportional to the light frquency. Some examples of the fascinating things one can do with photons are quantum teleportation, or the measurement of an object without interacting with it. Photons can also be used to manipulate atoms or molecules. For instance, one can laser cool atoms by shining light on it. Conversely, one can stop a light pulse and speed it up again using a gas of atoms. The most recent applications of quantum optics are in
which deals with the direct exploitation of the laws of quantum mechanics in information technology. For instance, in quantum cryptography, eavesdropping is made impossible by exploiting the laws of quantum mechanics. In quantum computing, these laws enable us to perform massive parallel computing.
Quantum optics research at StFX
Peter Marzlin's recent research has been focused on applications in quantum information and includes work on the reversible storage of single photons in matter and the creation of a strong photon-photon interaction for quantum logical gates. He also worked on possibilities how to minimize the effect of noise on quantum systems so that the performance of quantum logical gates can be optimized.