Abstract

The concept of coherence has been applied in the quantum theory of radiation and matter as well as in classical optics. We review here the meaning of the term in each case and show how these apparently different uses of the word coherence can be understood in terms of a single concept involving interference (nonzero cross terms), minimum uncertainty, and cohering (uniform variance) of the wave packet that describes the system. Self-induced transparency, superradiance, and superconductivity are discussed as dramatic examples of coherence.

© 1970 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
OSA Recommended Articles
High Tc superconductor coating: superreflectance and surface waves

David T. Wei
Appl. Opt. 28(14) 2718-2722 (1989)

Nonlinear light–matter interaction at terahertz frequencies

Daniele Nicoletti and Andrea Cavalleri
Adv. Opt. Photon. 8(3) 401-464 (2016)

Classical and quantum treatment of amplifier and superradiant free-electron laser dynamics

Rodolfo Bonifacio and Federico Casagrande
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 2(1) 250-258 (1985)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (22)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (38)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription