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X launches a new MOOC to deepen quantum optics with Alain Aspect

After a successful online course on quantum optics, Ecole Polytechnique launches a new MOOC on Monday, October 30: "Quantum optics 2, two photons and more", led by Alain Aspect, CNRS Senior Scientist Emeritus and Professor at Institut d’Optique Graduate School and Ecole Polytechnique.

Understanding light and its quantum description is not easy. Two professors at Ecole Polytechnique, experts in this field, managed to make it understandable to all : Alain Aspect, CNRS Senior Scientist Emeritus and Professor at Institut d’Optique Graduate School and Michel Brune, CNRS Senior Scientist at the Kastler Brossel Laboratory. They provide case-based course that they also taught at Ecole Polytechnique.

After a first online course launched in 2017, which introduced the basic concepts and basic tools of quantum optics, applying them to the case of single photons, this new MOOC in English offers to deepen the quantum description of light by looking at more complex cases such as entangled photons, compressed light, or the quantum description of coherent light.

This MOOC starts Monday, October 30th. To register, visit the Coursera platform.

Course description:

"Quantum Optics 1, Single photons", allowed learners to be introduced to the basic principles of light quantization, and to the standard formalism of Quantum Optics. All the examples were taken in single photons phenomena, including applications to quantum technologies.

In the same spirit, "Quantum Optics 2, Two photons and more", will allow learners to use the Quantum Optics formalism to describe entangled photon, a unique feature at the root of the second quantum revolution and its applications to quantum technologies. Learners will also discover how the Quantum Optics formalism allows one to describe classical light, either coherent such as laser light, or incoherent such as thermal radiation. Using a many photons description, it is possible to derive the so-called Standard Quantum Limit (SQL), which applies to classical light, and to understand how new kinds of quantum states of light, such as squeezed states of light, allow one to beat the SQL, one of the achievements of quantum metrology.

Several examples of Quantum Technologies based on entangled photons will be presented, firstly in quantum communication, in particular Quantum Teleportation and Quantum Cryptography. Quantum Computing and Quantum Simulation will also be presented, including some insights into the recently proposed Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) computing, which raises a serious hope to demonstrate, in a near future, the actively searched quantum advantage, ie, the possibility to effect calculations exponentially faster than with classical computers.