Welcome to Quantum Optics group at the College of William and Mary!

In the beginning of XX century the need for understanding the interaction of light and atoms gave rise to the development of Quantum Mechanics. In the beginning of XXI century we use our understanding of quantum mechanical properties of light and atoms to push the technology beyond the limits set by the classical physics!

By means of various multi-photon interactions we can control the quantum state of Rb atoms, dramatically changing their optical properties. For example, it may be possible to suppress resonant absorption and make transparent a normally opaque medium by means of Electromagnetically Induced Transparency (EIT). Or one can create an absorption resonance with desired properties via Raman absorption. Or it maybe possible to generate new optical fields with interesting non-classical properties by means of near-resonant four-wave mixing. These nonlinear processes also give us control over how fast optical pulses propagate inside the atomic medium, giving us ability to slow them down to a speed of a car, trap it inside the atomic vapor, or to make them appear to move faster than a speed of light or even with the negative speed.
These effects have a wide range of applications, such as:

In collaboration with R. A. Lukaszew we are working on extending applications of the control methods developed for atomic phycics to studies of light propagation in metallic nanostructure supporting localized surface plasmons. In particular, we are investigating the nucleation and evolution of the metal-insulator phase transition in vanadium dioxide (VO2) thin films and multi-layered structures using ultrafast laser spectroscopy and Raman scattering.

Join us!
We have many exciting projects at any level from freshmen to graduate students! Anyone interested in doing research in Quantum Optics or Atomic physics, please contact Irina Novikova