van Wijngaarden, William

William van Wijngaarden

Full Professor
Ph.D. (Princeton)

Department(s): Physics and Astronomy

Office: 247 Petrie Science & Engineering Building (PSE)
Phone: (416)736-2100 ext. 77750

Lab: 106 Petrie Science & Engineering Building (PSE)
Phone: (416) 736-2100 ext: 22892

Research Fields
Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Graduate Program Appointment
Full Member: Eligible to supervise M.Sc. or Ph.D.

Research Types

Research specialization
High-precision laser spectroscopy; Laser cooling and atom trapping; Ultracold atoms, Bose-Einstein condensation, and quantum information; Optical lattices; Environmental pollutant monitoring and climate change.

My research interests include a variety of topics in pure and applied physics, such as laser isotope separation, laser cooling, atom trapping, environmental pollutant monitoring, and electromagnetically-induced transparency for use in optical switching. My group has developed a novel way to use acousto/electro-optic modulators to precisely measure frequency shifts. This has been exploited to measure hyperfine splittings, Stark shifts, and polarizabilities of atoms and thereby precisely test predictions of quantum electrodynamics.  We were the first in Canada to create a Bose-Einstein condensate in the lab. Work is progressing to study so-called optical lattices of condensates.  An array of microtraps to be fabricated using lithography is also being designed. It is of interest for exploring and controlling the interactions between ultracold atoms, such as the transition between a superfluid and a Mott insulator state, and for developing schemes to implement quantum computing.