The work of Prof. Arlene Wilson-Gordon, a Professor in the Chemistry Department at Bar-Ilan University, spans several branches of chemistry and physics. Working at the atomic and molecular level, she and her research team make discoveries that transfer from the theoretical to the practical.
The focus of Wilson-Gordon’s work is in the field of theoretical nonlinear and quantum optics. In particular, she is interested in effects involving quantum interference and coherence and their potential applications.
Some of the topics her research team has explored are pump-probe and four-wave mixing spectra in simple systems such as two-level systems, three-level systems in Lambda and Vee configurations, and four-level systems in N and double two-level configurations.
In recent years, her group has been interested in pump-probe spectra of degenerate two-level and three-level Lambda systems, such as those that occur in alkali metal atoms. They have constructed computer programs that can simulate these systems–which are complicated due to their many sublevels– and allow interpretation of the results in terms of simple level schemes.
Of particular interest are effects such as coherent population trapping (CPT), where all the population is trapped in the ground state, and the related phenomenon of electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT), in which a strong pump laser renders an atomic system transparent to a weak laser (which would be absorbed in the absence of the pump laser).
Another effect extensively studied by the Wilson-Gordon group is electromagnetically induced absorption (EIA), in which the weak laser experiences additional absorption due to the presence of the pump laser.
In addition, several aspects and applications of an effect that can occur in solids, such as ruby crystal or diamond, called coherent population oscillation (CPO) have been studied. CPO is similar to EIT in several ways but has important differences.
All these effects have been studied by the Wilson-Gordon group in relation to both their fundamental interest and their important applications in the fields of frequency standards, magnetometry, optical clocks, slow and fast light, biphoton generation, magneto-optical rotation, and light storage.
The research of the Wilson-Gordon team aims to interpret existing experimental results and to predict new ones by collaborating with groups both in Israel and abroad. For example, the Wilson-Gordon group is currently part of a European collaboration that hopes to develop an array of inexpensive magnetometers for non-invasive mapping of the heart’s magnetic field. Once developed, this could replace the expensive method currently in use and could be used to screen populations for cardiovascular disease.
They are also collaborating with an American group in the interpretation and visualization of nonlinear magneto-optical rotation (NMOR) experiments, used to detect magnetic fields, and in studying the relation between spin squeezing and orientation-to-alignment conversion.
Prof. Wilson-Gordon’s group is currently studying steady-state and time-dependent effects in relation to atomic clocks and magnetometry. Their computer packages can currently handle changes in time of strong and weak lasers and applied magnetic fields, and they can be adapted to simulate a variety of experimental systems.
They are also interested in the creation and application of squeezed spin states in spectroscopy.