Center for Theoretical Physics (Pupin Hall 8th Floor)
"Levitodynamics: quantum control of a levitated nanoparticle"
Optical fields exert both conservative and non-conservative forces on polarizable ob-
jects. These forces can be used to control and manipulate the motion of atoms, molecules
or nanoparticles. In this presentation I discuss our experiments with optically levitated
nanoparticles in ultrahigh vacuum. Using feedback control we cool the particle’s center-of-
mass motion to its quantum ground state and observe quantum signatures in the spectrum
of the scattered light. Our goal is to generate macroscopic quantum superpositions by plac-
ing the particle into two locations at once. This will allow us to test quantum collapse
models and the interface of quantum mechanics and gravity.