Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 202200048
Classical and Quantum Emitters
Course info
Course module202200048
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact personprof.dr. W.L. Vos
dr. C. Blum
Contactperson for the course
prof.dr. W.L. Vos
prof.dr. W.L. Vos
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedure-
Registration using OSIRISYes
After completion of this course the student;
  • Is familiar with applying quantum mechanics to practical situations in science;
  • Has theoretical insight in the main properties of elementary light sources: (a) atoms, (b) molecules, and (c) quantum dots and quantum wells;
  • Is able to interpret essential optical observations on elementary light sources;
  • Is able to select a source that is suited for a particular application.
In this course in the Optics and Biophysics Track, we discuss the optical properties of three main classes of elementary light sources that are used in wide range of optical and biophysical applications. We focus on (a) atoms, (b) molecules, and (c) quantum dots and quantum wells, and analyze their emission in terms of spectra and time-resolved rates. We review the essential quantum mechanics, including static and time-dependent perturbation theory, the variational principle. We also review the complete radiation properties of a classical dipole, including field behavior relevant to near-field effects.
We discuss in-depth 3 classical and quantum views on spontaneous emission: antennae, circuits, fields, leading to Fermi’s golden rule, selection rules for optical transitions. We investigate the optical properties of an atom, including in an external field. We discuss molecular bonding, and electronic and vibrational transitions in molecules to arrive at fluorescence. After a brief review of the electronic and optical properties of a semiconductor, we study semiconductor quantum wells. We discuss semiconductor quantum dots that are also considered as flexible man-made “artificial atoms”, and that are popular in myriad fields ranging from nanophotonics, lasers, telecom, to photovoltaics and biomedical labeling.
Written Exam                          50%, minimum grade 5.5
Practicals                                25%
Paper presentation                 25%
Assumed previous knowledge
Mandatory: Electrodynamics, Quantum mechanics 1
Participating study
Master Applied Physics
Required materials
D.J. Griffiths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River NJ, 2005). Book is also being used in BSc phase.
Recommended materials
Peter Atkins and Julio de Paula, Physical Chemistry (Freeman co., New York, 2006) Relevant material will be made available. ISBN: 978-0716787594
Mark Fox, Optical Properties of Solids (Oxford University Press, Oxford UK, 2010) Relevant material will be made available.
Course material
W. L Barnes, S. A R Horsley and W. L Vos, Classical antennas, quantum emitters, and densities of optical states, Journal of Optics, Volume 22, Number 7 Article No. 073501 (2020) DOI =
L. Novotny & B. Hecht, Nano Optics (Cambridge, 2008)
Instructional modes

Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes


Classical and Quantum Emitters

Kies de Nederlandse taal