Research Interests

The interplay between fundamental and applied quantum physics is the theme of my research. For example, the quantum nature of light limits the purity of laser radiation. We developed a quantum description of laser behavior yielding the photon statistics of laser light. This theory also describes the single-atom maser and laser and provides insight into phase transition critical phenomena such as Bose-Einstein condensation. I then extended the theory to show how properly (i.e., coherently) prepared atoms can suppress spontaneous emission noise (correlated emission laser), or stimulated absorption (lasing without inversion). As an application of these studies we have built new kinds of lasers that operate without population inversion and phase coherent media that slows the group velocity of light to a few tens of meters per second. These studies hold promise for new high-precision magnetometers and gyroscopes. In related work we have shown how quantum optics can shed new light on the mysterious ways of the quantum, specifically, how erasing information in one part of the universe can change how we look at things in another. This strange quantum eraser process has been observed in the real (surreal?) quantum world.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 31: Engineering Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 13: Physics