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Quantum experiments exploiting the radiation pressure interaction between light and matter

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Mechanical resonators have recently drawn significant attention for their potential in becoming a new species of quantum systems. Such devices are textbook examples for classical harmonic oscillators and bringing them into the quantum domain will allow for novel tests of physics and fundamentally new applications – their potential ranges from experiments on the foundations of quantum physics, like creating macroscopic superpositions of massive objects, to realizing transducers between different quantum systems in quantum information processing.

One particularly successful approach for controlling mechanical motion down to the quantum level is cavity opto-mechanics, where the mechanical system is coupled via the radiation pressure force inside an optical cavity to a laser field. In this talk, we would like to highlight some of the most recent experiments that lead to the demonstration of ground-state cooling of optomechanical devices, as well as discuss how these early results could lead to more complex quantum experiments with macroscopic mechanical systems.

This talk is part of the Special Departmental Seminars series.

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