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Published December 10, 2007 | Published
Journal Article Open

Cavity opto-mechanics


The coupling of mechanical and optical degrees of freedom via radiation pressure has been a subject of early research in the context of gravitational wave detection. Recent experimental advances have allowed studying for the first time the modifications of mechanical dynamics provided by radiation pressure. This paper reviews the consequences of back-action of light confined in whispering-gallery dielectric microcavities, and presents a unified treatment of its two manifestations: notably the parametric instability (mechanical amplification and oscillation) and radiation pressure back-action cooling. Parametric instability offers a novel "photonic clock" which is driven purely by the pressure of light. In contrast, radiation pressure cooling can surpass existing cryogenic technologies and offers cooling to phonon occupancies below unity and provides a route towards cavity Quantum Optomechanics.

Additional Information

© 2007 Optical Society of America. Received 8 October 2007; revised 7 December 2007; accepted 7 December 2007; published 10 December 2007. KJV acknowledges the Caltech Lee Center and DARPA for supporting this work. TJK acknowledges support via a Max Planck Independent Junior Research Group, a Marie Curie Excellence Grant (MEXT-CT-2006-042842), a Marie Curie Reintegration Grant and the Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM). The authors kindly thank Albert Schliesser, Olivier Arcizet, Jens Dobrindt and Mani Hossein-Zadeh for contributions to this review.

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