IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society

Laser Control of Individual Atoms Workshop PDF

Wednesday, October 12, 19, 26, November 2, 9, 2011, 7:00–9:30 PM
Located at MIT Lincoln Laboratory – 244 Wood Street, Lexington, MA, 02420, USA

October 26, 2011
7 PM

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Using Quantum Thermodynamics to Enhance the Efficiency of Lasers and Solar Cells Slides

Prof. Marlan O. Scully, Princeton University & Texas A&M, Princeton, NJ


Prof. Marlan O. Scully, Princeton University & Texas A&M, Princeton, NJ

Abstract:  Laser and photocell quantum heat engines (QHEs) are powered by thermal light and governed by the laws of quantum thermodynamics. We here show how to use quantum coherence induced by quantum noise to improve the efficiency of a laser or photocell QHE. Surprisingly, this coherence can be induced by the same noisy (thermal) emission and absorption processes that drive the QHE. Furthermore, this noise-induced coherence can be robust against environmental decoherence.


Biography:  Marlan O. Scully (Texas A&M and Princeton) is a laser physics pioneer. His work includes the first quantum theory of the laser with Lamb, the first demonstrations of lasing without inversion, the first demonstration of ultraslow light in hot gases, and the use of quantum coherence to detect anthrax in real time. Furthermore Scully’s work on quantum coherence and correlation effects has shed new light on the foundations of quantum mechanics, e.g., the quantum eraser.

He has been elected to the: National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Academia Europaea, and Max Planck Society; has numerous awards including the: APS Schawlow prize, OSA Townes Award, IEEE Quantum Electronics Award, Franklin Institute’s Elliott Cresson Medal, OSA Lomb Medal, and Humboldt Senior Faculty Prize. More recently he was named Harvard Loeb Lecturer, received an honorary doctorate from Universität Ulm, and was awarded the OSA/DPG Hebert Walther Award.


For more information on the technical content of the workshop, contact either:
1) Farhad Hakimi (, Workshop Committee Chair
2) William Nelson (, Workshop Committee Co-Chair
3) Robert Stephenson (, Boston Photonics Society Chair