[PAST EVENT] Physics Colloquium

March 29, 2013
4pm - 5pm
Small Hall, Room 111
300 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Squeezed light was proposed 30 years ago as a way to improve the sensitivity of gravitational-wave interferometers, and is now being put into practice in full-scale instruments such as LIGO. Squeezing of atoms can in principle improve the sensitivity of atomic instruments such as clocks, gravimeters and optical magnetometers, although as always "the devil is in the details.'' Optical magnetometers are particularly interesting from a quantum mechanical point of view because they combine an atomic system (the sensor) with an optical system (for readout). I will discuss recent work to understand the quantum physics of optical magnetometers, including use of polarization-squeezed light to improve the sensitivity of a rubidium-vapor magnetometer and spin squeezing to improve the sensitivity of a cold-atom magnetometer. As time permits, I will comment on the new area of nonlinear quantum metrology, which promises to be particularly important for quantum enhancement of optical magnetometry.