Optomechanics – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Niels Bohr Institute > Calendar > 2008 > Optomechanics

Optomechanics

In this talk I will review recent progress in the physics of the  interaction between radiation and mechanical motion. The paradigmatic system in this field of 'optomechanics' consists of an optical cavity with a movable mirror attached to a cantilever.

I will discuss how the coupled dynamics of the light field inside the cavity and the cantilever motion gives rise to a series of interesting effects. On the level of classical dynamics, I will present the theory of nonlinear oscillations and the corresponding attractor diagram.

Furthermore, it is possible to cool the cantilever by irradiating the cavity with a red-detuned laser beam. I will present the quantum theory of optomechanical cooling and discuss the prospects for reaching the ground state of the cantilever's center-of-mass motion. Among the interesting opportunities that open up in the quantum regime, I discuss the quantum nonlinear dynamics of an optomechanical system and the detection of quantum jumps.