Nav: Home

RIT researcher collaborates with UR to develop new form of laser for sound

April 16, 2019

The optical laser has grown to a $10 billion global technology market since it was invented in 1960, and has led to Nobel prizes for Art Ashkin for developing optical tweezing and Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland for work with pulsed lasers. Now a Rochester Institute of Technology researcher has teamed up with experts at the University of Rochester to create a different kind of laser - a laser for sound, using the optical tweezer technique invented by Ashkin.

In the newest issue of Nature Photonics, the researchers propose and demonstrate a phonon laser using an optically levitated nanoparticle. A phonon is a quantum of energy associated with a sound wave and optical tweezers test the limits of quantum effects in isolation and eliminates physical disturbances from the surrounding environment. The researchers studied the mechanical vibrations of the nanoparticle, which is levitated against gravity by the force of radiation at the focus of an optical laser beam.

"Measuring the position of the nanoparticle by detecting the light it scatters, and feeding that information back into the tweezer beam allows us to create a laser-like situation," said Mishkat Bhattacharya, associate professor of physics at RIT and a theoretical quantum optics researcher. "The mechanical vibrations become intense and fall into perfect sync, just like the electromagnetic waves emerging from an optical laser."

Because the waves emerging from a laser pointer are in sync, the beam can travel a long distance without spreading in all directions - unlike light from the sun or from a light bulb. In a standard optical laser the properties of the light output are controlled by the material from which the laser is made. Interestingly, in the phonon laser the roles of light and matter are reversed - the motion of the material particle is now governed by the optical feedback.

"We are very excited to see what the uses of this device are going to be - especially for sensing and information processing given that the optical laser has so many, and still evolving, applications," said Bhattacharya. He also said the phonon laser promises to enable the investigation of fundamental quantum physics, including engineering of the famous thought experiment of Schrödinger's cat, which can exist at two places simultaneously.
-end-
Bhattacharya collaborated with the experimental group led by Nick Vamivakas at the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Bhattacharya's theoretical team on the paper consisted of RIT postdoctoral researchers Wenchao Ge and Pardeep Kumar, while Vamivakas led current UR graduate students Robert Pettit and Danika Luntz-Martin, former graduate student Levi Neukirch and postdoctoral associate Justin Schultz. Both groups are supported by the U.S. Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research via individual grants as well as a combined award which is led by the University of Rochester and includes Yale University, Northwestern University, University of Washington and University of Maryland.

To read the full study, go to https://www.nature.com/articles/s41566-019-0395-5.

For more information, contact Luke Auburn at 585-475-4335 or luke.auburn@rit.edu.

Rochester Institute of Technology

Related Nanoparticle Articles:

Modeling a model nanoparticle
New research from the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering introduces the first universal adsorption model that accounts for detailed nanoparticle structural characteristics, metal composition and different adsorbates, making it possible to not only predict adsorption behavior on any metal nanoparticles but screen their stability, as well.
Nanoparticle therapy targets lymph node metastases
Metastasis, in which cancer cells break free from the primary tumor and form tumors at other sites, worsens the prognosis for many cancer patients.
Nanoparticle computing takes a giant step forward
Inspired by how cellular membranes process biological information, we developed a platform for constructing nanoparticle circuits on a supported lipid bilayer.
Nanoparticle breakthrough in the fight against cancer
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has introduced a novel targeted drug delivery system in the fight against cancer.
Ultra-sensitive sensor with gold nanoparticle array
Scientists from the University of Bath (UK) and Northwestern University (USA) have developed a new type of sensor platform using a gold nanoparticle array, which is 100 times more sensitive than current similar sensors.
More Nanoparticle News and Nanoparticle Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...