Stefan Kuhn: Rotational Quantum-Optomechanics (ROTOQUOP)

Rotational Quantum-Optomechanics (ROTOQUOP)

Levitated nanoparticles are a highly promising testbed to study the quantum superposition principle with massive systems as they can be isolated from their environment. They can be coupled to forces exerted by light fields which allow for excellent control over their motional degrees of freedom. ROTOQUOP extends this research to the rotational motion of elongated silicon nanorods. Exploiting the additional optical torques acting on these particles, we implement active feedback and cavity cooling techniques to cool their ro-translational motion. We aim to bring the particle motion into the quantum regime and explore novel schemes to test macroscopic quantum superpositions in the rotational degrees of freedom.

The ESQ discovery grant gave me the opportunity to lead my first own research project while benefitting from the existing lab infrastructure in the quantum nanophysics group of Univ. Prof. Markus Arndt. In this way I was able to actually realise ideas which had been developed during the course of my PhD thesis and set up a novel experiment.

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