Hybrid atom-membrane optomechanics
1 Departement Physik, Universität Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 82, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
2 Fakultät für Physik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Schellingstraße 4, 80799 München, Germany
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Hans-Kopfermann-Str. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
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We report on the realization of a hybrid optomechanical system in which ultracold atoms are coupled to a micromechanical membrane. The atoms are trapped in the intensity maxima of an optical standing wave formed by retroreflection of a laser beam from the membrane surface. Vibrations of the membrane displace the standing wave, thus coupling to the center-of-mass motion of the atomic ensemble. Conversely, atoms imprint their motion onto the laser light, thereby modulating the radiation pressure force on the membrane. In this way, the laser light mediates a long-distance coherent coupling between the two systems. When the trap frequency of the atoms is matched to the membrane frequency, we observe resonant energy transfer. Moreover, we demonstrate sympathetic damping of the membrane motion by coupling it to laser-cooled atoms. Theoretical investigations show that the coupling strength can be considerably enhanced by placing the membrane inside an optical cavity. This could lead to quantum coherent coupling and ground-state cooling of the membrane via a distant atomic ensemble.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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