Quantum Mechanics with Classical Light

Hosted By: Quantum Computing and Communication Technical Group

3 October 2019, 10:00 - 11:00

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Entanglement is a quintessential property of quantum systems, it captures the fact that its state is written in a manner that is non-separable so that a measurement on one part affects the outcome of the other. Non-separability is not unique to quantum mechanics: weather maps are non-separable, and more pertinently, so are certain forms of structured classical light, controversially referred to as "classically entangled". The similarities between physical optics and quantum mechanics have been understood since the birth of quantum theory. It begs the questions: can quantum correlations be observed in classical systems? When do we really need quantum states of light?

In this webinar, hosted by the OSA Quantum Computing and Communication Technical Group, Professor Andrew Forbes of University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, will review this contentious issue using shaped classical light fields as an example and highlight with examples the advantages classical light offers in studying quantum systems, as well as the limitations inherent in this non-quantum approach. Pertinently, Professor Forbes will show how classical light can be used to blur the classical-quantum divide, demonstrating quantum tools applied to the classical world, and classical beams used in quantum processes, for the best of both worlds.

What You Will Learn:

  • Advantages of classical lights in quantum systems 
  • Limitations inherent in non-quantum approach 

Who Should Attend:

  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate students
  • Post-Doctorate students
  • Faculty

About the presenter

Andrew Forbes, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Andrew Forbes, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa Image

In 1998, Andrew Forbes received his PhD from the University of Natal, South Africa. He spent several years working as an applied laser physicist at the South African Atomic Energy Corporation and a private laser company. In 2004, he joined the CSIR National Laser Centre as a Chief Researcher and Research Group Leader of the Mathematical Optics group. While joining the University of the Witwatersrand as a Professor in March 2015, Dr. Forbes established a new laboratory for Structured Light. He serves on committees of several international conferences such as, OSA and SPIE. Dr. Forbes is on the editorial boards of Optics Express and J. Optics. His the founding member for the Photonics Initiative of South Africa, a Fellow of both SPIE and the OSA, and an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. Dr. Forbes won a 2015 national award for his contribution to photonics in Africa.