BOYD Professor and Professor of Physics
B.Sc., 1953 - National University of Ireland, Galway
Ph.D., 1962 - University of Notre Dame
D.Sc., 1975 - National University of Ireland
Louisiana State University
Department of Physics & Astronomy
225 Nicholson Hall, Tower Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001
Personal Home Page
Quantum Optics, Atomic Physics, Stochastic Physics, General Relativity
For many years and with a variety of collaborators, especially G. W. Ford (University
of Michigan), I have been studying dissipative and fluctuation phenomena in quantum
mechanics and related applications. Our emphasis has been on fundamental questions
in quantum theory with special emphasis on decoherence, entanglement and superposition
(Schrödinger cat) states particularly pertaining to the areas of quantum measurement,
information, teleportation, cryptography and computation, as well as the quantum-classical
interface. More recently, we have been studying fundamental questions relating to
measurement of quantum probability distribution functions with potential applications
to a wide variety of nano and quantum information systems, with emphasis on how their
entanglement properties vary with time. In addition, we are using the generalized
quantum Langevin equation to explore recent topical questions in non-equilibrium statistical
mechanics (particularly claims that the fundamental laws of thermodynamics may be
violated in the quantum regime), and in particular, we have presented an exact solution
to the radiation reaction problem.
Motivated by the discovery of a unique double pulsar system, I have recently returned
to a serious study of an area in which I worked for many years viz. spin effects in
gravitational theory and its relevance for hidden momentum.
Current and Select Publications
- R.F.O'Connell, "Electron interaction with the spin angular momentum of the electromagnetic
field", J.Phys. A 50, 085306(2017).
- R. F. O’Connell, "General Relativistic Two-Body Problem: Theory and Experiment and
the Role of Hidden Momentum", in D. Puetzfeld et al. (eds.), Equations of Motion in
Relativistic Gravity, Fundamental Theories of Physics 179, Springer, 2015.
- R. F. O’Connell, "Position and Spin Operators, Wigner Rotation and the Origin of Hidden
Momentum Forces," EPJ Web of Conferences 78, 02002 (2014).
- G. W. Ford and R. F. O'Connell, "Pair of oscillators interacting with a common heat
bath," Phys. Rev. A 89, 054101 (2014).
- G. W. Ford and R. F. O’Connell, "Lorentz transformation of blackbody radiation," Phys.
Rev. E 88, 044101 (2013).
- R. F. O'Connell, "Radiation Reaction: General approach and applications, especially
to electrodynamics," Contemporary Physics 53(4), 301-313 (2012).
- F. Intravaia, R. Behunin, P. Milonni, G. W. Ford and R. F. O'Connell, "Consistency
of the exact theory of Radiative Reaction with the Optical Theorem," Phys. Rev. A 84, 035801 (2011).
- R. F. O'Connell, "Gravito-Magnetism in one-body and two-body systems: Theory and Experiment,"
in "Atom Optics and Space Physics," Proc. of Course CLXVIII of the International School
of Physics "Enrico Fermi", Varenna, Italy, 2007, ed. E. Arimondo, W. Ertmer and W.
Schleich (IOS, Amsterdam, 2009).
- R. F. O'Connell, "The Wigner Distribution," in "Compendium of Quantum Mechanics,"
edited by D. Greenberger, B. Falkenburg, K. Hentschel and F. Weinert, (Springer, New
- G. W. Ford and R. F. O'Connell, "A Quantum Violation of the Second Law," Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 020402 (2006).
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