Every two years, I love to attend the Gordon Research Conference, “Mechanical systems in the quantum regime”, which brings together the biggest names in my field, with an encouragement to present breaking results.
This year was particularly exciting for me, as for the first time I presented a poster on my very own work (see below), and I was invited to deliver a “Hot Topic” talk on our research in Vienna.
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Here, we propose a new scheme, where levitated particles are coupled to, and controlled by, electrical circuits. To be built soon!
Levitated electromechanics: all-electrical cooling of levitated nano- and micro-particles
Our work on detection of nanoparticles in Silicon microcavities has been published in Applied Physics Letters. This technology will be really important for controlling smaller nanoparticles, and in turn realising a quantum physics with massive objects.
You can find a free video & audio recording of my Optomechanics tutorial lecture from SPIE Optics + Photonics 2017, by clicking on the image below:
You can site it in the following way:
James Millen, “Tutorial on optomechanics (Conference Presentation)”, Proc. SPIE 10347, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XIV, 103471E (25 September 2017);
It only took 308 days, but we just had some new research published in Nature Communications.
It was a completely surprising piece of work; we were able to levitate a tiny silicon cylinder, and make it tick like the hands of the worlds most perfect clock. No physical man-made object has ever rotated in such a perfect way. Our nano-watch only lost one millionth of a second over four days.
This is useful, because we can detect even the tiniest changes to the motion of our little watch-hands, meaning we can shove it places and detect all kinds of interesting, hard to measure things.
You can read Optically driven ultra-stable nanomechanical Rotor here.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to give not one, but two lectures at this exciting, interdisciplinary meeting. I discussed working with nanoparticles in high vacuum, and also presented The Quantum Workshop, which the organisers had kindly shipped all the way from Vienna to Lisbon!
I wrote a short Viewpoint article for Physical Review X, giving an overview of some very exciting work in the field of nanothermodynamics, where researchers have surpassed the Carnot limit of efficiency.