Making quantum electrodynamics more accessible

TYPESpecial lecture in the Advanced MQED course
Speaker:Aviv Karnieli
Affiliation:Tel Aviv University
Organizer:Assistant Professor Ido Kaminer
Date:07.11.2019
Time:10:30 - 11:20
Locationroom 1061, 10th floor, Meyer Building, Electrical Engineering
Remark:Everyone is invited. Will be of particular interest for anyone working on optics/electromagnetism or if you're working in areas of light-matter interactions.
Abstract:

 

When we come to calculate effects of light-matter interactions that involve the emission of light by matter, we often find ourselves in need of quantizing the electromagnetic field. 

 

In particular, we think of these processes in terms of creating and annihilating photons.

 

Some effects - such as spontaneous emission and "quantum beats", are often cited as conclusive examples of this necessity.
The quantization of the electromagnetic field - creating the "photon" - is at the heart of quantum electrodynamics. But is it really necessary? Could we develop theoretical techniques that can calculate quantitative predictions without going through any field quantization?

This talk will present the "transition current method", which enables handling a wide range of effects in light-matter interactions by building on classical tools of solving the Maxwell equations. We present the method in a tutorial form, and discuss the analogies between the main steps in the method and their quantum analogues, showing insight on the meaning of quantum transitions and decoherence and connections to basic results in other fields (e.g., the Kubo formula in condensed matter physics).

 

Plan:

 

Thursday Nov7 

 

EE 1061

 

10:30-11:20

 

30 minutes talk + questions 

 

break

 

11:30-12:20 discussion

 

Discussion focus: how to extend the formalism beyond first order processes,

 

and how to capture effects like the Lamb shift

 

(currently an open question)