Quantum Optomechanics of Levitated Solids
Abstract: The quantum optical control of solid-state mechanical devices, quantum optomechanics, has emerged as a new frontier of light-matter interactions. Objects currently under investigation cover a mass range of more than 17 orders of magnitude - from nanomechanical waveguides to macroscopic, kilogram-weight mirrors of gravitational wave detectors. Extending this approach to levitated solids opens up complete new ways of coherently controlling the motion of massive quantum objects in engineerable potential landscapes. I will discuss recent experimental advances in quantum controlling levitated solids, including demonstrations of the motional quantum ground state of optically trapped nanoparticles in a room temperature environment, and of unconventional light-induced dipole-dipole interactions between two particles. I will also discuss the perspective to explore new regimes of macroscopic quantum physics, in particular ones that include quantum systems as sources of gravity.
Bio: Markus Aspelmeyer is a Professor of Physics at the University of Vienna and Scientific Director at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. He studied physics and philosophy in Munich, Germany. Aspelmeyer is regarded one of the pioneers of the field of quantum optomechanics. His research combines the development of new quantum technologies with fundamental quantum experiments. He is co-founder of Crystalline Mirror Solutions (now Thorlabs Crystalline Solutions), which provides novel optics for laser precision measurements. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg. His current research is focused on the intriguing puzzles around quantum physics and gravity.
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