Group news and updates

May 14, 2017 Today we are saying goodbye to several of our group members! Dr. Mi Zhang will be applying her years of lab experimence chasing squeezed light into designing optical systems in Shanghai.

Melissa Guidry, who successfully tamed first CPT atomic clocks and then single-photon camera, is heading to Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France as a Fulbright scholar

Zach Thomas, our magnetometer guru, is applying for government jobs.

April 11, 2017 This year Melissa's research in multimode structure in atom-based squeezed vacuum generation was supported by Virginia Space Grant Consortium, and she presented her research during the VGSC conference.

April 3, 2017 Introducing Dr. Gleb Romanov!

Dr. Romanov with his Ph.D. adviser Irina Novikova and Nik Prajapati, who inherited Gleb's project in the lab.

March 25, 2017 Our graduate students had a chance to share their research with the world during the 2017 Graduate Research symposium. Demetry talked about a gyroscope with tailorable dispersion, the project he worked on last summer.

Nik shared his latest results on controlling the four-wave mixing using Raman absorption in a ladder configuration.

March 20, 2017 Introducing Dr. Mi Zhang!

Dr. Zhang with her Ph.D. adviser Eugeniy Mikhailov and committee members Irina Novikova and Alberto Marino (U. of Oklahoma).

February 17, 2017
Melissa Guidry, our Quantum Superstar, has received the Harrison prize, awarded to a senior with the highest demonstrated achievement in physics.

February 10, 2017
Dr. Lauren Aycock shared with us her fascinating studies of Broanian motion of solitons in Bose-Einstein condensates.

From left to right: Nik Prajapati, Lauren Aycock and Irina Novikova.

January 20, 2017
Eugeniy Mikhailov and Mi Zhang demonstrate their medals for 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize for LIGO detection of the gravitational waves.

September 23, 2016
Dr. Hebin Li (Florida International University) gave a fascinating colloquium about use of ultrafast nonlinear optical interaction to get better grip on quantum dynamics of complex systems.

From left to right: Hebin Li, Melissa Guidry, Mi Zhang, and Eugeniy Mikhailov.

June 28, 2016 Introducing Dr. Ellie Radue!

May 15, 2016 Today we are saying goodbye to four long-term members of our group!

Both Haley Bauser(left) and Ashna Aggarwal(right) are travelling west: Haley is starting graduate program in Caltech, and Ashna - at UCLA.

Owen Wolfe(top) is heading to Montana State University. Hunter Rew(bottom) is going to apply to graduate school next year, while working as software engineer at Decisive Analytics.

April 6, 2016 Brilliant ladies of Quantum optics! Haley Bauser won the Alumni research award given to the senior with the highest demonstrated achievement in physics research.

Melissa Guidry received the Clark award, awarded to a rising senior, who has demonstrated an outstanding aptitude for the study of physics. She is also 2016 Goldwater scholar.

February 15, 2016 Together with the rest of the world we are celebrating the announcement of the gravitational wave detection by LIGO collaboration. The best part is that four members of our group (Hunter Rew, Eugeniy Mikhailov, Gleb Romanov and Mi Zhang) are the co-authors on the seminal PRL detection paper. Plus, Melissa Guidry spent her summer working for the European gravitational observatory VIRGO.

October 16, 2015 Dr. Eden Figueroa (Stony Brook) visited us to discuss wonderful things one can do with warm atoms, and share his newest results on polarization quantum memory.

From left to right: Eugeniy Mikhailov, Eden Figueroa, Irina Novikova, Owen Wolfe, Melissa Guidry, Haley Bauser.

October 2, 2015 It is always great to see old friends: Nathan Belcher, who was our group's first undergraduate student, has stopped by. Nathan is currently a physics teacher in NC, and is working on his Ph.D. in education.

August 7, 2015 Summer is a busy research time for us, and the undergraduate members of our team presented the results of their summer projects during REU poster session.

Nisha Grewal (Wesleyan University) successfully reconstructed the quantum state of a squeezed optical field.
Joseph Ghobrial (Saint Peter's University) investigated EIT and four-wave mixing in Rb vapor.

Owen Wolfe (WM) contributed in significant improvement of the fast-light optical gyroscope experiment.

June 11, 2015 DAMOP conference in Columbus, OH, gave us a wonderful chance to have a group reunion of some former and some current group members!
Mi Zhang and Gleb Romanov presented their research during poster session.


May 17, 2015 Another graduation, and we are wishing best of luck to Kelly Roman, who will be teaching physics in high schools after finishing another year at WM School of Education.

March 20, 2015 Ellie Radue received Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Natural and Computational Science during 14th Annual Graduate Symposium.

February 6, 2015 We were fortunate to have Dr. Alberto Marino from the University of Oklahoma as our colloquium speaker .

July 27, 2014 William and Mary Physics Department hosted 2014 ICAP Summer school, opening its door to more than hundred young researcher from all over the world.

July 29, 2014 During the ICAP Summer School we were lucky to have Lukas Slodicka from Palacky University in Olomouc (Czech Republic) visiting our lab.

July 26, 2014 Summers tend to be very busy times in the lab, and this one was not an exception. In addition to our regular team of graduate students, we had four wondeful undergrads! Donna Taylor is an REU student from Weber university, who developed an optical filter based on Faraday rotation in Rb vapor.

Kelly Roman studied four-wave mixing processes in a paraffin-coated Rb cell.

Owen Wolfe have designed and built several electronic devices to stabalized the frequency of lasers, that are now used in the squeezed vacuum experiment, run by Mi Zhang.

Josh Hill worked on the superluminal gyroscope experiment, but due to untimely death of two lasers he spent some time on electronics.

July 26, 2014 Thanks to the inter-institutional grant from Women In Scientific Education (WISE) we were fortunate to have Dr. Elena Kuchina (TNCC) working with us this summer. During this time we have imprelemted and studied a new interrogation method for atomic CPT clocks and magnetometers.

June 26, 2014 Introducing Dr. Matt Simons!

June 3, 2014 Mi Zhang and Gleb Romanov presented their research during poster session at DAMOP'14 in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin

May 12, 2014 This year we are saying goodbuy to two members of the group: Jesse Evans(left) will continue his scientific adventures as a graduate student in Dartmouth, and Joe Scholle(right) is on search for a great programming job.

May 2, 2014 We were lucky to have Dr. Selim Shahriar from Northwestern University visiting and talking about his work in a colloquium.

March 21 and 22, 2014 Three of our graduate students have participated in 2014 Graduate Research Symposium. Gleb Romanov gave an update on storage time measurements in quantum memory experiment.
Ellie Radue reported on variation in dynamics of photoinduced metal-insulator transition in vanadium dioxide thin films at various temperatures.
During the poster session Mi Zhang presented a preliminary results of her studies of spatial mode structure of squeezed vacuum optical field. Our resent graduate, Travis Horrom, who is currently a postdoc at NIST stop by to say hi.

February 28, 2014 Ashna Aggarwal and Haley Bauser presented intermediate results of their experiment on optical properties of vanadium dioxide thin films during 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

February 18, 2014 Jesse Evans presented his senior project on slow and fast light in a ring cavity during 2014 Honors colloquium.

November 15, 2013 Our colloquium visitor, Prof. John Howell from the University of Rochester, with his lovely wife Heather, and the William and Mary AMO group.

November 8, 2013 It is always great when our group alumni come to visit. Our former undergraduate Will Ames (now a graduate student at the University of Colorado, Boulder) with out current senior Jesse Evan and senior graduate student Gleb Romanov.

October 8, 2013 This year we had an all-girl team representing our group at the Frontiers in Optics conference in Orlando, FL! Mi Zhang talked about her experiments with a donut-shaped squeezed vacuum, and Ellie Radue reported on her investigation of the ultrafast metal-to-insulator phase transition in vanadium dioxide thing films.

August 21, 2013 We had a wonderful visit with Prof. Igor Sololov from St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University, and our old friend, Prof. Mark Havey from Old Dominion University.

May 23, 2013 Our visitor and AMO seminar speaker, Elizabeth Goldschmidt from NIST.

May 12, 2013 Another graduation, and so many people are graduating from our group today! Dr. Travis Horrom will continue his illustrious career in quantum optics working with Dr. Paul Lett's group in NIST, Geithersburg.

Evan Crisman is also heading north to start in the master program in medical physics, University of Pennsylvania.

Matt Argao will also be applying to medical school next year. .

Bain Bronner is looking for a real job, although there is likely a graduate school in Engineering in his future.

And congratulations to Mi Zhang who got her Master of Science degree! She was too busy in the lab to get dressed up! :)

April 26, 2011 Bain Bronner received an Alumni prize awarded to the Physics senior with the highest demonstrated achievement in physics research.

March 22 and 23, 2013 All our graduate students have participated in 2013 Graduate Research Symposium. Travis Horrom gave a talk on quantum-enhanced magnetometer.
During the poster session Mi Zhang described her measurements of squeezed vacuum with unusual transverse profile, while Gleb Romanov reported on faster-than-light squeezed vacuum pulses propagation.
Matt Simons gave a poster update on progress toward non-classical light generation in a whispering gallery mode disc.
Special thanks to Ellie Radue who took most of the photos, and unfortuately, were left photoless herself. Her talk was about effect of substrate on properties of vanadium dioxide films.

March 14, 2013 Introducing Dr. Travis Horrom!

February 22, 2013 Bain Bronner and Evan Crisman reported their senior research achievements during 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

February 2, 2013 Matt Simons, Gleb Romanov and Irina Novikova have travelled across the continent to attend 2013 Photonics West conference.

November 19, 2012 Irina with our collaborator Arturo Lezama (right) and his colleague Horacio Failache (left) during her visit to Arturo's group at the (Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay).

October 27, 2012 Congratulations to Evan Chrisman whose research on anisotropy in Vanadium dioxide thin films received a honorable mention during PhysicsFest'12 student poster competition.

July 30, 2012 What a busy and productive summer we had! And so many new great people!
Logan Stagg was a fantastic REU student who built an apparatus and observed lossless slow and fast light in Rb atoms. This is the first step toward construction of enhanced atomic optical gyroscope.

Joe Sultanis and Mi Zang put together another experimental setup for measuring vacuum squeezing in Rb. By shaping the input laser beam with a phase mask they made a 1-dB vacuum squeezed donut.

Chris Flint conducted a very colorful investigation of nonlinear frequency generation in Lithium Niobate crystals using various lasers, as well as designed a green balanced photodetector.

July 8, 2012 Ellie Radue and I took a few trip down to NASA Langley research center to measure Raman spectra of various VO2 films, working with Dr. Buzz Wincheski.

June 27, 2012 Chris Flint (on photo) and Matt Simons explore the multicolored nonlinear frequency generation in Lithium Niobate crystal using femtosecond laser.

June 4, 2012 Eugeniy Mikhailov, Travis Horrom and Gleb Romanov presented on DAMOP'12 conference in Orange County, CA.

May 12, 2012 One more year has passed, and again we are saying goodbuy to two members of the group: Jacob Fry will be applying the graduate programs in physics next year.

Pavel Zhuravlev is heading to NRL for summer internship, and then to marine training school.

And congratulations to Ellie Radue who got her Master of Science degree today!


April 6, 2012 We were fortunate to host Prof. Nergis Mavalvala (MIT) - one of the scientific leaders of LIGO.

From left to right: Katya Mikhailova, Eugeniy Mikhailov, Nergis Mavlavala, Gleb Romanov, Travis Horrom, Irina Novikova, Ellie Radue.

March 30, 2012 Bain Bronner has spent a lot of time this semester polishing (and repolishing) CaF whispering-galler mode discs and aligning (and realigning) the coupling setup. Finally his hard work is starting to pay off as he finally was able to observes the cavity modes!

March 23, 2012 Many physics students have presented their research in the Graduate Research Symposium. Among them was Travis Horrom, reporting latest development in squeezed vacuum generation and manipulation.

Matt Simons has won the top prize for his research on nonlinear optics in whispering gallery mode resonators. Matt was not able to attend due to injury, but he managed to record his talk to be played in the award session (and it worked!).

February 24, 2012 Our senior Jake Fry has presented the progress in development of vector atomic magnetometer during the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

February 13, 2012 We were lucky to have Robi Singh from Prof. Jon Dowling at Luisiana State University. He worked with Travis Horrom and Eugeniy Mikhailov on demonstrating a quantum magnetometer.

October 22, 2011 Physicsfest this year was a big success! Eugeniy Mikhailov explains laser operation to interested visitors.

October 17, 2011 We are adding new color to our palette by generating blue second harmonic light using KLN from Shasta Crystals.

September 23, 2011 We had a wonderfully productive and inspiring visit from Prof. Jon Dowling from Luisiana State University.

From left to right: Gleb Romanov, Kebei Jiang (LSU), Eugeniy Mikhailov, Jonathan Dawling, Irina Novikova, Travis Horrom.


August 19, 2011 How many physicists you need to move a laser? At least five! The 1 mJ femtosecond laser system from Coherent has finally arrived and will be installed very soon.

From left to right: Gleb Romanov, Pasha Zhuravlev, Travis Horrom, Matt Simons, Eugeniy Mikhailov.


June 24, 2011 Introducing Dr. Nate Phillips!


May 16, 2011 Another bittersweet moment: two more people are graduating!
Kevin Cox is moving up - literally! He will be shortly on his way to the University of Colorado, Boulder Ph.D. program.

David Gribbin (aka Quint) will be spending next year preparing for law school exams meanwhile, he stays with us for another month to help keep experiments running.


May 6, 2011 We had a very short by very interesting visit from two LSU graduate students, working with Prof. Jon Dowling . Another student of his - Robi - worked with us last semester on PSR squeezing experiment. From left to right:Robi Singh (LSU), Kebei Jiang (LSU), Nate Phillips (WM), Gleb Romanov (WM), Kaushik Seshadreesan (LSU), Matt Simons (WM), and Travis Horrom (WM).


April 26, 2011 Kevin Cox received an Alumni prize awarded to the Physics senior with the highest demonstrated achievement in physics research. Below, Kevin with Physics Department chair Keith Griffioen at the award ceremony.

April 18, 2011 This year the work of two of our students were supported by Virginia Space Grant Consortium, and they presented their finding during the VGSC conference in Newport News. Matt Simons gave a talk on the nonlinear optics in cristalling whispering gallery mode resonator, and Kevin Cox (photo below) presented a poster about his work on the idea of an atomic vector magnetometer.


February 18, 2011 This year two of our undergraduate students participated in 12th undergraduate research symposium. Kevin Cox (top) gave a talk about development of a vector magnetometer based on EIT in Rb vapor, and David Gribbin (bottom) presented a poster about production and coupling of whispering gallery mode resonator discs.


October 1, 2010 It is always great to see old friends, and we were delighted to welcome Yuri Rostovtsev (U. of North Texas) and his wife Natasha in Williamsburg.


September 30, 2010 Past summer was very busy with work and travel. Our squeezing experiment has travelled 100 miles south to Old Dominion university, where in collaboration with Prof. Mark Havey we've attempted to see squeezing in cold atomic clowd. Dr. Arturo Lezama joined us in early September for the final push. Although we didn't get many dB of squeezed light, the results are definitely encouraging, and we've learned a lot!

The squeezing team (from left to right):Arturo Lezama, Eugeniy Mikhailov, Mark Havey, Salim Balik, Travis Horrom.

The real squeezing team with the experimental apparatus.


June 7, 2010 We were very happy to have a chance to welcome our long-term collaborator, Dr. Alexey Gorshkov, before he moves to West coast to start his postdoctoral fellowship at Caltech Institute for Quantum Information. From left to right: Gleb Romanov, Irina Novikova, Nate Phillips, Alexey Gorshkov.


May 16, 2009 Here is this day again when we say bood-bye to two our recent graduates.
Francesca Fornasini is reaching for the starts: she is on her way to the University of California, Berkeley Astronomy Ph.D. program.

Paul Stubbs is shifting his focus from physics to finances, and continues in the master program in Accounting here, at the College of William and Mary.

Peng Xu has received his Master of Physics degree today as well.


April 16, 2010 Our guest colloquium speaker Dr. Karen Sauer with Seth Aubin and Eugeniy Mikhailov in the hall oh the new research wing of Small hall.


March 26, 2010 This page has started with pictures of an empty lab, and it is time to show them again. Except this time these are the pictures of our new lab in recently (and not completely) finished research wing of Small hall. We should be moving in approximately one week.


February 26, 2010 This year two of our undergraduate students participated in 11th undergraduate research symposium. Kevin Cox (top) presented a poster about his work on developing a campas magnetometer based on EIT, and Francesca Fornasini (bottom, with Justin Vazquez and Ryan Zielinski) gave a talk about her work toward new imaging technique of ultracold atoms using four-wave mixing.


February 4, 2010 Our good friend and collaborator Dr. Arturo Lezama (Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay) visited us again. He and Travis Horrom spent a lot of hours working on the polarization self-rotation squeezing experiment.


December 11, 2009 Our distinguished visitor Prof. Dmitry Budker (UC Berkeley) with Seth Aubin, Irina Novikova and Eugeniy Mikhailov.


November 6, 2009 In attempt to increase the number of (potential) women in science we are pleased to present the newest group member: Alyssa Mikhailova.



October 6, 2009 While most of our research involves pretty sophisticated and expensive equipment, sometimes a simple iron becomes a research apparatus. Kevin Cox spent last couple week learning how to make printed boards from scratch using iron and laser printer. Looks like we have a first success!


June 3, 2009 Prof. Mark Havey, our old friend from Old Dominion University, and Dr. Dmirty Kupriyanov, our new friend from St. Petersburg Politechnic University, visited us today for a productive afternoon of physics discussions.


May 17, 2009 Graduations are always bitter-sweet, and today we are saying bood-bye to two members of the group who were with us almost from the very beginning of the lab. William Ames is heading to the graduate program in Physics in the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Joseph Goldfrank is following his life-long dream - to be an officer at a nuclear submarine. First step after college - U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School, and then Naval Nuclear Power School.

And luckily, we still don't need to part with this guy for a few years - Matt Simons got his Master of Science degree today!


May 8, 2009 Dr. Yanhong Xiao, former colleague of Irina at CfA and now a professor at Fudan University (China) visited our group and presented an AMO seminar.


April 3, 2009 Dr. Svetlana Malinovskaya (Stevens Institute of Technology) visited our department to give a colloquium. She was particularly impressed by our solar cell project.


April 2, 2009 Nathan Belcher, who has graduated from our group in December 2008, is now a science teacher in the Williamsburg Christian Academy, and today he brought his Physics class for the tour of our department.


February 27, 2009 Two students in our group participated in campus-wide undergraduate research symposium. Joe Goldrfank (top) presented a poster about his research on the nonlinear magneto-optical polarization rotation, and Will Ames (bottom) gave a talk about his studies of optical vortices.


January 21, 2009 Dr. Alvin Compaan(University of Toledo) visited William&Mary to share the details of his research on photovoltaics and solar energy.


October 31, 2008 Dr. George R. Welch (Texas A&M University) - the academic father of Irina and Eugeniy - visited our lab.


October 30, 2008 What has started as a hopelessly optimistic proposal to the Army Research Office 14 months ago finally materialized in the form of brand new Ti:Sapphire laser. This laser will be shared between ours and Dr. Seth Aubin's research groups.


October 2, 2008 Dr. Arturo Lezama (Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay) is visiting us this week to help us with better understanding of the polarization self-rotation squeezing.


September 19, 2008 Any birthday requires a party, and today we celebrated the birth of the College of William&Mary Student Chapter of the Optical Society of America.
More party pictures here!


August 1, 2008 Today we were saying good-bye to two wonderful summer REU students: Martha Roseberry (College of Wooster) and Tom Noel (U. of Wisconsin). Both of them accomplish a lot for the short 10 week! Martha built an optical network that connets our laboratory with the laboratory of Dr. Seth Aubin for future sharing of a Ti:Sapphire laser.
Tom conducted a very detailed experimental study of quantum noise properties near atomic resonance. He is also a current world-wide record holder on polarization self-rotation squeezing: -1.2dB below the shot noise limit. (Ok, may be the number is not too impressive, but hey! - that's the best for our method!)


July 28, 2008 We've been so busy here this summer, we didn't even have time to post anything! Here is our hard-working summer crew - at work and at Sunday cookout.
From left to right: Tom Noel (summer REU student from U. of Wisconsin), Will Ames, Matt Simons, Nathan Belcher, Nate Phillips, Martha Roseberry (summer REU student from C. of Wooster), Eugeniy Mikhailov, Chris Carlin, Irina.


June 17, 2008 Dr. Matt Eisaman (NIST) visited W&M to give a special AMO seminar and to teach us how to properly store and count photons.
From left to right: Chris Carlin, Irina, Nate Phillips, Matt Eisaman, Eugeniy, Will Ames and Tom Noel (our summer REU student).


May 30, 2008 This year our group presented the results of the squeezing experiement and stored light optimization experiment at DAMOP conference that took place at State College, PA. On the photo below Nate Phillips explains the magic of slow light to unidentified physicist.


May 21, 2008 Recently we have submitted two papers describing our work on stored light optimization: arXiv:0805.3348 and arXiv:0805.1927! To celebrate the occasion we have recreated the William&Mary logo: we send a "W" into a vapor cell, and it was magically transformed into "M" at the output after being optimally stored in atomic spins.

In addition it turned out that the photo of AMO group in William&Mary has been featured at June 2008 Optics&Photonics News magazine!
Click on picture to enlarge.


May 11, 2008 Congratualations to Nathan Belcher, who suceesfully complete his work for BS in Physics! Since Nathan will officially graduate only in December, he will stay with us for the summer to more exciting work on atomic clocks!


April 9, 2008 Congratulations to Nate Phillips for winning the first place in Physical sciences in the student poster competition during Hampton Roads 2008 Research Expo. (Left) Our team together with Dr. Seth Aubin's group members at the poster session. (Right) The happy winner a minute after the prizes were announced.


March 28, 2008 Dr. Carlos Lopez-Mariscal (NIST) visited our department. Carlos gave two presentation: an information session about Optical Society of America (OSA) stident-related programs, and an AMO seminar on optical tweezers with evanescent waves.


March 21, 2008 Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle (MIT) visited our lab during his visit to W&M.


February 13, 2008 Very productive week for our group! First news is that the first paper based solely on the experimental results from our lab in William and Mary. E. E. Mikhailov and I. Novikova, "Low-frequency vacuum squeezing via polarization self-rotation in Rb vapor," submitted to Opt. Lett. (2008).

Second news - we have a home-made atomic clock working in the lab! We can lock frequency of rf oscillator to CPT resonance and improve its stability more than two orders of magnitude. The overall stability is not great, and we will be working on improving it with clever CPT resonance schemes.


December 21, 2007 Will Ames is conducting the experiment which will use optical vortices phase masks for optical filtering. The intensity distributions of a laser beam passed through the phase mask with and without interference are shown in Figs. (a) and (b) for a single m=1 vortex, and two vortices close to each other in Figs. (c) and (d). The phase mask is generously lended to us by Dr. Grover Swartzlander (University of Arizona).


December 7, 2007 A long overdue picture of Dr. Charles Sukenik (ODU): he visited us in September, but had to come again for a picture.


November 9, 2007 Dr. Ron Walsworth (Harvard) inspects the lab during his visit.


October 19, 2007 Our visitor, Dr. Frank Narducci (Naval Air Systems Command).


October 6, 2007 Our senior student Nathan Belcher presents a poster about his VCSEL work during the annual Celebration of Summer Research symposium.


July 9, 2007 We have successfully demonstrated efficient high-frequency modulation of a VCSEL laser. This system will be used in atomic clock experiment.


June 29, 2007 Of coarse, summer is the busiest time in the labs, but we like to have some fun too! On Friday nights AMO group relaxes by making ice-cream using liquid nitrogen. The goal of this experiment - to find the best flavors!


March 30, 2007 Dr. Bill Phillips (NIST) visited our lab during his visit to W&M.


March 23, 2007 Drs. Seth Aubin, Irina Novikova and Eugeniy Mikhailov with our visitors - Dr. Mark Havey from Old Dominion University, and Dr. Alexey Trifonov, MagiQ.


February 2007 Slow/stored light experiment is operational!


December 2006


November 2006


October 2006