Studying quantum effects in mechanical systems is appealing to both understanding the foundation of quantum theory, and developing applications in quantum technology. However, measuring quantum effects in these systems is extremely challenging. In quantum optomechanics, we are developing a new class of quantum systems harnessing the coupling of light to mechanical motion. This approach demonstrated that a mechanical mode can be cooled into its quantum ground state, which is a prerequisite to most quantum experiments with mechanical systems. A big challenge faced in quantum optomechanics is to reach a large enough optomechanical coupling while minimizing dissipation to the environment.
In this project, the student will exploit our recent development of superfluid acoustic resonators confined into nanoscale geometries. Superfluid has unique properties such as zero friction and extremely low acoustic dissipation, which makes it an ideal material for a mechanical system. Furthermore, the student will develop high finesse nanostructured superconducting microwave cavities, and couple them to superfluid acoustic resonators. Hence, it will form novel optomechanical systems with enhanced optomechanical coupling and reduced dissipation. Using the great flexibility in design offered by this architecture, the student will generate non-classical states of mechanical motion with a well-controlled experimental setup and study their decoherence.
The project is based in the London Low Temperature at Royal Holloway University of London. We are part of the European Microkelvin Platform, which is a European Advanced Infrastructure supported by Horizon 2020.