In the past years the field of quantum optics has begun to expand from its original domain covering basic photon(ic) and atom(ic) systems into the realm of molecular and solid state physics. Theory and experiment have progressed to the point where the traditional boundaries between the different areas have become less pronounced. The aim of this conference is to bring together scientists from these various fields now contributing to an increasing extent to quantum optics and adopting quantum optical approaches in order to study and discuss the similarities and synergies between the different realizations of quantum optical systems and to identify new trends and possible applications.
Quantum physics is fundamental for our understanding of nature, and it has thus been central for the development of new methods and technologies. Devices and applications are in general governed by classical physics, but more and more their basis is in the quantum world. Modern developments in the field of quantum optics and solid state physics show that quantum systems per se can be useful devices. For example, they can serve as small quantum computers or they can be used in a clock or interferometer for high-precision measurements. They find application in superconducting devices and can be used for secure quantum cryptography. A robust technological implementation of quantum physics has the potential to be one of the defining technologies of the 21st century.
Quantum physical concepts by themselves can have far reaching implications beyond their traditional applications. The concept of a quantum bit, contrasted to the classical bit, will force us to redefine our ways of classifying logical operations and consequently the complexity classes of computational and logical problems or even the concept of mathematical proofs. One of the great challenges in quantum optics today is to link different quantum systems to each other while preserving the quantum nature over the link. Another great challenge is to identify the border between the classical and the quantum world and to find ways to extend the quantum world into the mesoscopic regime.
The meeting is not just planned as a place to show results but will serve as the crystallization point for many new ideas in this rapidly developing field and provided a forum for building collaborations. There will be invited and contributed talks, as well as poster sessions and open discussions. Young people are especially encouraged to participate, as the meeting is very much looking forward to the future.