Cavity opto-mechanics

Opt Express. 2007 Dec 10;15(25):17172-205. doi: 10.1364/oe.15.017172.


The coupling of mechanical and optical degrees of freedom via radiation pressure has been a subject of early research in the context of gravitational wave detection. Recent experimental advances have allowed studying for the first time the modifications of mechanical dynamics provided by radiation pressure. This paper reviews the consequences of back-action of light confined in whispering-gallery dielectric microcavities, and presents a unified treatment of its two manifestations: notably the parametric instability (mechanical amplification and oscillation) and radiation pressure back-action cooling. Parametric instability offers a novel "photonic clock" which is driven purely by the pressure of light. In contrast, radiation pressure cooling can surpass existing cryogenic technologies and offers cooling to phonon occupancies below unity and provides a route towards cavity Quantum Optomechanics.