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Optical nuclear magnetic resonance: theory, simulation, and animation

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Abstract

The theory of optical nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is introduced and developed with supercomputer simulation and animation. A powerful, circularly polarized pulse of laser radiation magnetizes an ensemble of atoms and molecules through the conjugate product of nonlinear optical theory. This magnetization is shown theoretically to result in nonlinear optical Zeeman splitting—the optical Zeeman effect—mediated by the orbital and the spin electronic and nuclear quantum numbers through a new fundamental property, the gyroptic ratio. When a circularly polarized laser is used in a conventional NMR spectrometer, the spectrum is split by Landé coupling, leading to a new analytical technique, optical NMR. This development is potentially of widespread interest. The interaction of a circularly polarized laser with optically active (chiral, or handed) molecules leads to electric polarization, and the statistical dynamical origins of this effect are simulated and animated on the IBM supercomputer of the Cornell Theory Center. Scientific visualization reveals the nature of orientational cross correlations induced by the circularly polarized laser; a novel time-lapse method is used to relate the statistical and actual (motion) correlations. These correlations yield the torque effect of the circularly polarized laser, which imparts net angular momentum whose motion reversal and parity inversion symmetries are the same as those of magnetization.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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