Carlo W. J. Beenakker
This article focuses on applications of random matrix theory (RMT) to both classical optics and quantum optics, with emphasis on optical systems such as disordered wave guides and chaotic resonators. The discussion centres on topics that do not have an immediate analogue in electronics, either because they cannot readily be measured in the solid state or because they involve aspects (such as absorption, amplification, or bosonic statistics) that do not apply to electrons. The article first considers applications of RMT to classical optics, including optical speckle and coherent backscattering, reflection from an absorbing random medium, long-range wave function correlations in an open resonator, and direct detection of open transmission channels. It then discusses applications to quantum optics, namely: the statistics of grey-body radiation, lasing in a chaotic cavity, and the effect of absorption on the reflection eigenvalue statistics in a multimode wave guide.