Thursday, January 14, 2010
Engineering the Interaction of Light and Sound at the Frontiers of Nanotechnology
Dept. of Physics, California Institute of Technology
The field of Cavity Quantum Optomechanics is attempting to advance the frontiers of quantum mechanics by preparing and measuring quantum states of mesoscopic mechanical oscillators in optical cavities. This goes hand-in-hand with the engineering of mechanical nanostructures having incredible properties. By utilizing the mechanical degrees of freedom of photonic crystals, my colleagues and I have developed a novel NOMS device in which photons and microwave-frequency phonons interact in a volume more than 100,000 times smaller than the volume of a single human cell. These light-matter interactions are so strong that each photon trapped in the structure drives mechanical motion with a force more than 15 times the weight of the structure. In addition, these structures can be made with ultra-low mechanical losses and quantum-limited optical readout of the mechanical motion. With these technological engineering feats, the quest to push devices to the quantum limit is simultaneously paving the way for a myriad of novel chip-scale applications that take advantage of the properties of these exquisitely sensitive optomechanical systems. In this seminar, I will describe these devices and explain how they can extend the field of quantum mechanics to the mechanical motion of mesoscale mechanical oscillators. I will also discuss some of the many novel technological and scientific applications that are emerging from the study of these devices.
Refreshments at 11:00 AM. Seminar begins at 11:10 AM.
Building 8, Room 241
For further information, please call (909) 869-4014