April 23, 2012 - 11:00am
Marcus Nanotech Conference Room 1116
Cavity optomechanics is rapidly developing into a major area of research. This is a result of the developments from two converging perspectives on the physical world. From the top down perspective, ultra-sensitive micromechanical and nanomechanical detectors have become available utilizing the advanced materials and processing techniques of the semiconductor industry and nanoscience. These devices are capable of probing extremely tiny forces, often with spatial resolution at atomic scales. From the bottom-up, we have gained a deep understanding from quantum optics and atomic physics of the mechanical effects of light, in particular in the context of laser cooling, and of how quantum mechanics limits the ultimate sensitivity of measurement through quantum back-action. Cavity optomechanics is a mix of these two approaches, with ultra-sensitive mechanical elements from the top-down, and the deep understanding of the mechanical effects of optical fields from the bottom-up.
The talk will review key recent developments of this field and speculate on promising directions in which it is likely to evolve.