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Quantum optics and classical optics are linked in ways that are becoming apparent as a result of numerous recent detailed examinations of the relationships that elementary notions of optics have with each other. These elementary notions include interference, polarization, coherence, complementarity and entanglement. All of them are present in both quantum and classical optics. They have historic origins, and at least partly for this reason not all of them have quantitative definitions that are universally accepted. This makes further investigation into their engagement in optics very desirable. We pay particular attention to effects that arise from the mere co-existence of separately identifiable and readily available vector spaces. Exploitation of these vector-space relationships are shown to have unfamiliar theoretical implications and new options for observation. It is our goal to bring emerging quantum–classical links into wider view and to indicate directions in which forthcoming and future work will promote discussion and lead to unified understanding.


This article was originally published in Physica Scripta, volume 91, issue 6, in 2016.

Peer Reviewed



IOP Publishing

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



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