IGM Colloq.: Quantum coherent nanomechanical resonators see the light
27.09.17 - Nanomechanical resonators are exquisite force sensors, and have recently (and surprisingly) emerged as a potential quantum technology.
Dr. Dalziel Wilson is a postdoctoral fellow working jointly at EPFL and IBM Research, Zurich. He cut his teeth in the quantum optics group of Jeff Kimble at Caltech, was seduced into the (then young) field of optomechanics, and eventually in fell love with nanomechanics. At EPFL he works in the Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurement (Prof. Tobias Kippenberg), where he and his colleagues develop techniques to probe the quantum fluctuations of nanomechanical resonators with light, and vice-versa.
Nanomechanical resonators are exquisite force sensors, and have recently (and surprisingly) emerged as a potential quantum technology.
I’ll discuss new phononic engineering techniques that have made it possible to realize room temperature nanomechanical resonators with quality factors exceeding 100 million, and potentially orders of magnitude higher. We’ve been using these devices to measure and manipulate quantum fluctuations of laser light, a capability that will enable applications ranging from fundamental tests of gravity to ultra-low-noise radio wave detection. The devices are also intriguing as macroscopic quantum systems, as they undergo 100s of oscillations in their thermal decoherence time.