Polaritons in Quantum Optomechanics
September 22, 2014 - 6:00am
The concept of polariton is ubiquitous in the context of radiation-matter interaction. It refers to a generic quasi-particle resulting from the mixing of light with some kind of material excitation (e.g. a plasmon, phonon, or exciton). Cavity optomechanics offers an ideal system to study the coupling between trapped photons and the oscillations of a mechanical resonator. We can thus describe the coherent dynamics in terms of polaritonic excitations.
The role of dissipation mechanisms adds another layer of complexity to the problem. In particular, the photon and the mechanical phonon are coupled to reservoirs with different temperatures. This situation opens up the possibility to investigate thermodynamics at the quantum level as well as engineer heat engines at the nanoscale.