Physics & Astronomy Colloquium - Jack Sankey - McGill University

Dartmouth Events

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium - Jack Sankey - McGill University

Title: "Toward Optically Defined Micromechanical Systems"

Friday, February 3, 2017
Wilder 104
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract:  Mechanical systems are ubiquitous throughout society, from oscillators in timekeeping devices to accelerometers and electronic filters in automobiles and cell phones. They also represent an indispensable set of tools for fundamental science, providing a means of sensing atomic-scale forces and masses or even the minuscule spacetime distortions from passing gravitational waves. In the field of optomechanics, we exploit the forces exerted by radiation to gain a new level of control over these systems at all size scales.

In this talk I will discuss our group's efforts to create delicate micromechanical systems and then influence their motion with extremely low levels of light. To this end, we have fabricated nanogram-scale "trampolines" having extraordinarily low damping parameters, ringing for six minutes when struck, and record force sensitivities below 20 attonewtons at room temperature. These trampolines also have excellent optical properties and are well-suited for optomechanical applications, notably providing access to a regime in which an average of a single cavity photon could significantly alter the trampoline's damping parameter (and, as a result, its trajectory). I will also discuss plans to apply an optical spring to these and related systems to control frequency, improve mechanical performance, and define the shape and mass of a mechanical mode. 
For more information, contact:
Tressena Manning

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.