Quantization and phase-space methods for slowly varying optical fields in a dispersive nonlinear medium

T. A.B. Kennedy, E. M. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


We consider the quantization of slowly varying optical fields in a dispersive nonlinear medium and the application of phase-space methods to the resulting quantum field equations. A pragmatic approach to the quantization of the electromagnetic field is adopted whereby we apply canonical quantization to the Hamiltonian expressed in terms of the slowly varying electric field envelope, all approximations (quasimonochromatic and paraxial) having been made at the classical level. This approach allows us to include material dispersion, diffraction, and nonlinearity. Using phase-space methods we then develop a c-number functional Fokker-Planck equation from which the quantum statistical properties of propagating optical fields can be deduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-221
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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