Quantum optomechanics – exploring mechanical motion in the quantum regime

Aïsha Mientjes



Seminar 3:

Speaker:  Markus Aspelmeyer  

Department: Nanoscience/Physics

Subject: Quantum Optomechanics – exploring mechanical motion in the quantum regime.

Location: TU Delft          

Date: 02-03       

Dr. Aspelmeyer started out the lecture by explaining what quantum optomechanics is. It is the combination of opto mechanics and quantum optics. In quantum optics, fluctuations infer with the measurements. This is referred to as the standard quantum limit. Quantum optomechanics is the full quantum toolbox to prepare and control mechanical quantum states via photonic quantum states.

He went on to state several quantum states.

  1. Quantum ground state of motion
  2. Quantum states of motion
  3. Non-Gaussian quantum states of motion
  4. Quantum entanglement

The next part of the lecture dealt with applications of quantum optomechanics, some examples are:

  • On chip quantum information processing
  • Quantum hybrid devices
  • New coating techniques

 seminar 3



This image shows a quantum nanodevice, one of the applications of quantum optomechanics.


The precision of many quantum measurements is limited by the coating that is used. Coatings which do not function well are the most important problem in our measurements of space and time. We have to deal with things such as Brownian motion and thermal fluctuations.

The team of Dr. Aspelmeyer mainly concerns themselves with 2 questions:

  1. How small can a source mass be?
  2. How massive can a quantum system be?

This concluded his lecture.

This was the first seminar I attended at the TU Delft. The previous two had both been at the Erasmus MC ant therefore this one had a very different character. It dealt much more with the applications of physics and mathematics and was not focussed on human health. Despite this seminar being different from the past two I attended, I enjoyed this very much. The topic is quite abstract and difficult to grasp, but Dr. Aspelmeyer explained everything very well. He was very enthusiastic about the work being done in this field currently, which made the seminar very enjoyable to listen to.

I found it very interesting to learn how something as simple as a coating can have such major effects on the measurements being done. It amazed me how something so simple can be so limiting. All in all, I found it a very interesting and enjoyable seminar.


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