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Friday 24 Jan 2020Cavity optomechanics: the ultimate sensor toolbox

Ying Lia Li - University College London

Newman Red 12:30-13:30

Imagine using light to measure displacements smaller than the width of a single electron? Now imagine using this ability to detect gravitational waves, create squeezed light or explore the classical-to-quantum boundary? Optomechanics allows us to do this, and more, by simply using the coupling between an optical resonance and mechanical motion. In this talk I’ll introduce the rapidly growing field of cavity optomechanics and why it’s becoming a universal tool for fundamental research. I’ll also discuss my own research which uses spherical cavities containing optical whispering gallery mode resonances. Highlights include trying to reach the macroscopic ground state of glass spheres (spoiler: I did not), creating an acceleration sensor (tested on a monster truck), and finding new avenues in optomechanics-enabled single molecule biosensing.

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