Nikolai Kiesel, Markus Aspelmeyer: Blackbody radiation forces in levitated quantum optomechanics experiments

Nikolai Kiesel, Markus Aspelmeyer: Blackbody radiation forces in levitated quantum optomechanics experiments

Optical control of nanoparticles in high vacuum (optical levitation) is believed to provide access to a new parameter regime for macroscopic quantum physics as well as unprecedented sensitivity to accelerations and forces.  In principle, it enables experiments where any loss of quantum coherence due to a thermal environment is removed except for scattering, absorption and emission of blackbody radiation of the solid state particles. These blackbody radiation forces provide limitations to the new method. At the same time, they can also be exploited by providing additional attractive potentials that could be harnessed for example in the context of optical near-field trapping. However, the interaction of between nanoparticles and blackbody radiation is not well-understood.

As a first step towards investigating these phenomena, the proposed project will provide a direct measurement of the blackbody radiation induced recoil and momentum diffusion on a nanoparticle. If successful, our project will not only provide insight into the thermodynamics of radiation in nanomaterials, but it will also open up a new generation of experiments to investigate and exploit blackbody radiation forces.

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