Orientation-to-alignment conversion and spin squeezing

S. M. Rochester, M. P. Ledbetter, T. Zigdon, A. D. Wilson-Gordon, D. Budker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The relationship between orientation-to-alignment conversion (a form of atomic polarization evolution induced by an electric field) and the phenomenon of spin squeezing is demonstrated. A "stretched" state of an atom or molecule with maximum angular-momentum projection along the quantization axis possesses orientation and is a quantum-mechanical minimum-uncertainty state, where the product of the equal uncertainties of the angular-momentum projections on two orthogonal directions transverse to the quantization axis is the minimum allowed by the uncertainty relation. Application of an electric field for a short time induces orientation-to-alignment conversion and produces a spin-squeezed state, in which the quantum state essentially remains a minimum-uncertainty state, but the uncertainties of the angular-momentum projections on the orthogonal directions are unequal. This property can be visualized using the angular-momentum probability surfaces, where the radius of the surface is given by the probability of measuring the maximum angular-momentum projection in that direction. Brief remarks are also given concerning collective-spin squeezing and quantum nondemolition measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022125
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 27 Feb 2012


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