University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Thursday, May 2nd 2019
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Jack Harris (Yale University)
Subject: Quantum optomechanics with superfluid helium
Note change of room for this week only. Refreshments in atrium after the Colloquium.

To observe quantum effects in the motion of macroscopic objects typically requires high-precision readout, low temperature, and low optical and mechanical loss. Superfluid helium offers many advantages in these regards. I will describe two optomechanics experiments based on superfluid helium. In the first, the superfluid fills a Fabry-Perot optical cavity. The cavity is used to monitor the quantum fluctuations of the superfluid's acoustic modes. This system is amenable to single photon/phonon detection schemes, and so may provide a route to more exotic quantum effects in massive objects. The second experiment uses magnetic levitation to suspend a mm-scale drop of superfluid in vacuum. I will describe preliminary measurements of the drop's formation, trapping, and evaporative cooling, and of the drop's mechanical resonances and optical resonances.

Faculty Host: Paul Crowell

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