Cooling and manipulating complex particles


Prof. Peter Barker, University College London

*Note that this colloquium will now be delivered as a part of our Experimental Physics Seminar Series, Monday 1pm, Physics Annexe 6-407.

There is currently considerable interest in exploring the quantum nature of the motion of particles, ranging from simple molecular species to much larger particles on the nanoscale.  Of particular interest is the observation of quantum superposition of these comparatively massive particles and to also use them for quantum limited sensing.  An important requirement for all of these schemes is the ability to cool and control the centre-of-mass motion.  While cooling methods are well developed for atomic species they are not yet well established for these more complex particles. In this talk I will describe a number of new laser cooling and trapping methods that we are developing for optically and electrically trapped nanoscale and microscale particles levitated in vacuum.