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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Apr 13;98(15):150802. Epub 2007 Apr 13.

An all-optical trap for a gram-scale mirror.

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  • 1LIGO Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


We report on a stable optical trap suitable for a macroscopic mirror, wherein the dynamics of the mirror are fully dominated by radiation pressure. The technique employs two frequency-offset laser fields to simultaneously create a stiff optical restoring force and a viscous optical damping force. We show how these forces may be used to optically trap a free mass without introducing thermal noise, and we demonstrate the technique experimentally with a 1 g mirror. The observed optical spring has an inferred Young's modulus of 1.2 TPa, 20% stiffer than diamond. The trap is intrinsically cold and reaches an effective temperature of 0.8 K, limited by technical noise in our apparatus.

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