ESQ Faculty members Markus Aspelmeyer and Oriol Romero-Isart, together with their colleagues explore the potential of the new research field of levitodynamics

In a review in Science, a team led by ERC Synergy Grant awardees Markus Aspelmeyer, Lukas Novotny, Romain Quidant and Oriol Romero-Isart explores the potential of the new research field of levitodynamics.

This offers a new experimental platform with unique opportunities for fundamental science and many potential applications such as sensor technology.

Levitation of both large objects and of single atoms has become a widely used technique in science and engineering. In the last years, many researchers have started to explore a new horizon: the levitation of nano- and micro-particles – still smaller than the diameter of a single hair, but composed of billions of atoms – in vacuum. The ability to manipulate and measure the translation and the rotation of these objects with high precision has generated a new experimental platform with unique opportunities for fundamental and applied research. “To name just a few examples: the high sensitivities of levitated objects to external forces and accelerations are fueling both sensor development and searches for new physics, and the full control of friction and forces affecting the motion of these particles the testing of stochastic thermodynamic hypotheses. Moreover, friction and noise can be reduced to a fundamental minimum by creating ultrahigh vacuum, paving the way not only for quantum sensing and detection, but also for exploring macroscopic quantum superpositions in a hitherto unexplored regime of large masses”, says Oriol Romero-Isart from the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Department of Theoretical Physics at the University of Innsbruck. 


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801110.

ESQ has received funding from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF).



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