Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type




First Advisor

Prof. Cindy Regal


Experiments in the field of cavity optomechanics have recently demonstrated the cooling of macroscopic mechanical systems to the quantum regime. In this paper, a system is presented which represents progress towards a particular realization of optical-mechanical coupling. In the proposed experiment, the center-of-mass motion of a levitated particle would be cooled to the ground state of an optical trap using the techniques of cavity optomechanics. Studying the quantum mechanics of macroscopic systems is of interest because the scales involved might allow for the study of phenomena related to both gravity and quantum mechanics. A system of this sort may also have applications in detection of extremely small forces or in quantum information experiments. This paper describes an apparatus which represents the first steps towards the ground state cooling of an optically levitated silica particle.