Publication in Optics Express
I have published the majority of my Ph.D. results in the paper 'Simultaneous cooling of coupled mechanical oscillators using whispering gallery mode resonances' in Optics Express.
This details experimental results whereby the thermal motion of a microsphere-cantilever (i.e. the vibrations that exist even in solids) can be detected down to the picometer level (~ size of an atom!). We then use this information to cool the motion down to -263 degrees Celcius - with some more effort we want to damp the motion so much it becomes a quantum object. This would herald a world record for the largest quantum object.
We use optical resonances called whispering gallery modes (WGMs) that exist when light is confined by total internal reflection around a curved boundary (St. Pauls Cathedral has acoustic WGMs in its famous dome). To excite these resonances we use a waveguide with an evanescent field (leakage light allowing photons to tunnel through an air gap into the microsphere) such that the motion of the microsphere-cantilever greatly disturbs how this light is coupled to the WGM and can be detected extremely efficiently.
Opt. Express 24, 1392-1401 (2016)