Introductory Lecture of PD Dr. Martin Frimmer

Thursday, March 28, 2019, 17:15 ETZ E 6 -  Zentrum


** Speaker: PD Dr. Martin Frimmer, ETH Zürich

** Title: Optical Levitation for Precision Measurements

** Abstract: Electromagnetic radiation is a powerful probe of our environment. A simple example is to measure an object’s position by reflecting from it a beam of light whose phase depends on the length of the traveled path. Importantly, this measurement of the object’s position comes at a price: We inevitably disturb its momentum according to the Heisenberg uncertainty relation. At the heart of this measurement backaction are optical forces generated by the interaction of light with matter. On the one hand, these forces fundamentally limit measurement precision. On the other hand, they provide a valuable means to manipulate matter on a microscopic scale, the optical tweezer being a paradigmatic example. This lecture is going to provide an introduction to levitated optomechanical systems in vacuum. These systems harness electromagnetic radiation to trap microscopic objects, measure their mechanical motion, and control that motion. Using an optically levitated nanoparticle as a paradigmatic example, this lecture aims to leave the audience with a basic understanding of the limitations of measurement precision arising from the quantization of the electromagnetic field.