Analysis of radiation-pressure induced mechanical oscillation of an optical microcavity

Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Jul 15;95(3):033901. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.95.033901. Epub 2005 Jul 12.


The theoretical work of Braginsky predicted that radiation pressure can couple the mechanical, mirror eigenmodes of a Fabry-Pérot resonator to its optical modes, leading to a parametric oscillation instability. This regime is characterized by regenerative mechanical oscillation of the mechanical mirror eigenmodes. We have recently observed the excitation of mechanical modes in an ultrahigh Q optical microcavity. Here, we present a detailed experimental analysis of this effect and demonstrate that radiation pressure is the excitation mechanism of the observed mechanical oscillations.