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.
- Received 23 January 2007
- Published 13 April 2007
© 2007 The American Physical Society