Quantum Optics Toolbox for MATLAB

The simulation of systems in quantum optics often involve the solution of differential equations for the state vector or density matrix. This toolbox provides a simple way of setting up the equations of motion of a system coupled to an environment directly from the operator form of the Liouvillian or Hamiltonian. Systems involving the interaction of a few bosonic modes (e.g. light fields and atomic vibrational modes) and multi-level atoms may be considered. The objects of quantum mechanics (states, operators etc.) are mapped to instances of Matlab classes based on sparse matrices, making it possible to start from a high-level description of the physical problem and to generate the data structures required to carry out the simulations in a semi-automatic way.

Once the equations of motion have been set up, a variety of solution algorithms are included which are useful for problems of different sizes, ranging from those which rely on diagonalizing the Liouvillian to those which carry out numerical integration using the quantum Monte Carlo or the quantum state diffusion algorithm. The separation of the step of problem formulation from that of numerical solution, and the modular approach employed in the toolbox allows the user to try various algorithms on the same problem without extensive re-coding. Routines are also provided for visualizing the results of simulations in terms of quasi-probability functions and related tools.

Typical applications include problems in Cavity QED, laser cooling and trapping, quantum cryptography and information processing. The toolbox may also be found useful for teaching numerical simulation of quantum mechanical systems.

The Quantum Optics Toolbox was originally written by Sze M. Tan.

If you have any questions about the quantum optics toolbox please contact Dr. Scott Parkins.



Current version is 0.15, 2002-08-20. Please read the file INSTALL included in the distributions. for IBM PC and compatibles
qotoolboxV015.tgz for Unix machines


Article [PDF]: overview of the toolbox with some example files.

User’s Guide [PDF]: toolbox user’s guide (also included in the distributions above).

An alternative to the QO Toolbox

The Quantum Optics Toolbox for MATLAB is no longer actively maintained and has not been updated since 2002.

QuTiP, the Quantum Toolbox in Python, is a more modern, actively developed alternative to the QO Toolbox, written for the Python programming language rather than for MATLAB. At the time of writing QuTiP is not supported on Microsoft Windows, but it is available on all Unix-based platforms such as Linux and Mac OS X.

QuTiP is not developed at or affiliated with the University of Auckland.