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École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Cavity Quantum Optomechanics

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne via edX


Optomechanics is the study of the interaction between light and mechanical systems which can result in the manipulation of the state of both light and the mechanics. The nature of this interaction gives rise to a wide range of applications in both fundamental physics and technological advancements.

In this course, you will learn the concepts and tools required for conducting research in the field of cavity optomechanics. The key topics include the theoretical basis for studying both mechanical and optical resonators, the new physics emerging from their interaction, and the various tools and techniques used in designing a cavity optomechanical experiment.

The course is taught by a network of experts in the field comprising 14 partners from 12 renowned universities and 2 leading industries located in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland.


Week 1: Introduction

  1. Motivation
  2. Qualitative basics
  3. Optical forces
  4. Optomechanical forces in circuits

Week 2: Optical and mechanical resonators

  1. Classical description of resonators
  2. Basics of elasticity
  3. Mechanical dissipation
  4. Stochastic processes and Brownian motion

Week 3: Classical dynamics

  1. Optomechanical coupling and equations of motion
  2. Dynamical backaction
  3. Nonlinear dynamics
  4. Quantization of harmonic oscillator

Week 4: Quantum dynamics

  1. Quantum optics of a cavity
  2. Quantum equations of motion
  3. Quantum theory of the optomechanical cooling
  4. Strong coupling regime
  5. Optomechanically induced transparency

Week 5: Quantum correlations

  1. Homodyne detection
  2. Displacement sensing and the standard quantum limit
  3. Squeezed light and applications in gravitational wave detection
  4. Optomechanical squeezing
  5. Entanglement in cavity optomechanical systems

Week 6: Experimental methods

  1. Experimental platforms
  2. Photonic crystals
  3. Fabrication methods
  4. Finite element simulations

Taught by

Tobias Kippenberg, Markus Aspelmeyer, Florian Marquardt, Albert Schliesser, Eva Weig, Gary Steele, Pertti Hakonen, Rémy Braive, Samuel Deléglise, David Vitali, Roman Schnabel, Paul Seidler, Dries Van Thourhout and Peter Degenfeld-Schonburg


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