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Optical Cooling Applied to Microlever

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Daniel S. Burgess

A team of physicists at Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich, Germany, has employed a laser technique to damp the amplitude of Brownian motion in a micromechanical cantilever, cooling it from room temperature to 18 K. Theoretically, the approach may enable cooling to effective temperatures in the submillikelvin range and even to the quantum limit. The demonstration follows on earlier inquiries into the quieting of thermal noise in a mirror using radiation pressure. The gold-coated silicon microlever and the tip of a similarly gold-coated optical fiber, through which the laser radiation...Read full article

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