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Published July 15, 2005 | Published
Journal Article Open

Analysis of Radiation-Pressure Induced Mechanical Oscillation of an Optical Microcavity


The theoretical work of Braginsky predicted that radiation pressure can couple the mechanical, mirror eigenmodes of a Fabry-Pérot resonator to its optical modes, leading to a parametric oscillation instability. This regime is characterized by regenerative mechanical oscillation of the mechanical mirror eigenmodes. We have recently observed the excitation of mechanical modes in an ultrahigh Q optical microcavity. Here, we present a detailed experimental analysis of this effect and demonstrate that radiation pressure is the excitation mechanism of the observed mechanical oscillations.

Additional Information

© 2005 The American Physical Society (Received 14 December 2004; published 12 July 2005) This work was supported by the NSF, DARPA, AFSOR, and the Center for the Physics of Information.

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