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An All-Optical Trap for a Gram-Scale Mirror

Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 150802 – Published 13 April 2007
Thomas Corbitt, Yanbei Chen, Edith Innerhofer, Helge Müller-Ebhardt, David Ottaway, Henning Rehbein, Daniel Sigg, Stanley Whitcomb, Christopher Wipf, and Nergis Mavalvala


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.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.150802

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  • Received 23 January 2007
  • Published 13 April 2007

© 2007 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Thomas Corbitt1, Yanbei Chen2, Edith Innerhofer1, Helge Müller-Ebhardt3, David Ottaway1, Henning Rehbein3, Daniel Sigg4, Stanley Whitcomb5, Christopher Wipf1, and Nergis Mavalvala1

  • 1LIGO Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA
  • 2Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik (Albert Einstein Institute), Callinstraße 38, 30167 Hannover, Germany
  • 4LIGO Hanford Observatory, Route 10, Mile marker 2, Hanford, Washington 99352, USA
  • 5LIGO Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA

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