Online AMO Seminar: Thomas Penny, University College London, “Electrically levitated nano-oscillators for investigating new physics”

Event time: 
Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 10:00am to 11:00am
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Thomas Penny, University College London

Event description: 

Levitated oscillators provide a promising platform for measuring small forces. Their extreme isolation from the surrounding environment allows small interactions to dominate the dynamics paving the way for highly sensitive investigations into physics beyond the standard model, short-range forces and extensions to quantum mechanics. Paul traps present a unique tool for levitating particles that are adaptable and require minimal laser light, allowing a wide range of particles sizes and materials to be trapped. They importantly reduce the effects of internal and recoil heating that plaque optical traps.
In this talk, I will present our work on developing a low noise nano-oscillator based on a Paul trap for investigating new physics. A key part of this is cooling the centre-of-mass motion of the trapped particle which is required for a range of proposals. By directly comparing the two most common feedback cooling methods we have shown that velocity damping cools to lower temperatures than parametric feedback. In addition, I will outline future experiments that will use this low noise system to explore the macroscopic limits of quantum mechanics using non-interferometric methods.
Host: David Moore (