We present a utilitarian review of the family of matrix groups Sp(2n, ℛ), in a form suited to various applications both in optics and quantum mechanics. We contrast these groups and their geometry with the much more familiar Euclidean and unitary geometries. Both the properties of finite group elements and of the Lie algebra are studied, and special attention is paid to the so-called unitary metaplectic representation of Sp(2n, ℛ). Global decomposition theorems, interesting subgroups and their generators are described. Turning ton-mode quantum systems, we define and study their variance matrices in general states, the implications of the Heisenberg uncertainty principles, and develop a U(n)-invariant squeezing criterion. The particular properties of Wigner distributions and Gaussian pure state wavefunctions under Sp(2n, ℛ) action are delineated.
Volume 96, 2022
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