Scattering-free optical levitation of a cavity mirror

G. Guccione, M. Hosseini, S. Adlong, M. T. Johnsson, J. Hope, B. C. Buchler, P. K. Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate the feasibility of levitating a small mirror using only radiation pressure. In our scheme, the mirror is supported by a tripod where each leg of the tripod is a Fabry-Perot cavity. The macroscopic state of the mirror is coherently coupled to the supporting cavity modes allowing coherent interrogation and manipulation of the mirror motion. The proposed scheme is an extreme example of the optical spring, where a mechanical oscillator is isolated from the environment and its mechanical frequency and macroscopic state can be manipulated solely through optical fields. We model the stability of the system and find a three-dimensional lattice of trapping points where cavity resonances allow for buildup of optical field sufficient to support the weight of the mirror. Our scheme offers a unique platform for studying quantum and classical optomechanics and can potentially be used for precision gravitational field sensing and quantum state generation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number183001
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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