Speaker: John Davis, University of Alberta
Time: February 11, 2016, 2:00 - 3:00
In the past decade a revolution has taken place in our ability to measure mechanical motion, originating in large part from experiments at gravitational observatories. Such observatories use massive optical cavities to explore the tiny changes in displacement that could be caused by passing gravitational waves. The nanomechanical community has latched onto this concept (of using optical cavities to enhance the detection of mechanical motion), which has been deemed “cavity optomechanics”. Cavity optomechanics is so extraordinarily sensitive that it has opened the door for the search for quantum phenomena in mesoscopic mechanical systems containing billions or trillions of atoms. I will describe our work on cavity optomechanics inside a dilution refrigerator, which enables low-thermal noise torque sensing, the possibility of quantum ground state occupation of nanomechanical resonators, and interfacing with intrinsically quantum systems such as superconductors and superfluids.