University of Vienna
Quantum meets Mechanics: exploring quantum effects arising from mesoscopic mechanical oscillators
Studying quantum aspects of macroscopic moving bodies is a fascinating subject in quantum physics. The main experimental approach is cavity optomechanics that uses cavity photons to measure and manipulate motional states of mechanical oscillators. Cavity optomechanics, together with advancements in microfabrication of mechanical devices, has allowed us to observe and control mechanical resonators at the quantum level. This opens new exciting possibilities for quantum information science and for validating quantum physics in hitherto untested macroscopic scales.
In this talk, I will describe two different experiments in quantum optomechanics. First, I will address our progress in developing on-chip optomechanical devices for quantum information science. Using micro-fabricated silicon optomechanical devices, we demonstrated the generation of quantum-correlated pairs of a single (optical) photon and a single (mechanical) phonon. Our current efforts to utilize these devices for optical quantum networks will also be discussed. Next I will talk about a novel optomechanical system with optically levitated nanoparticles. Due to lack of direct clamping to the environment, optical levitation at ultra-high vacuum allows trapped particles to have extremely high mechanical coherence. Combined with an optical cavity, it will enable quantum coherent experiments on particle's motions even at room temperature. I will discuss the current status of the experiment and prospects for implementing a matter-wave interferometer in an unprecedented mass regime.