Laser cooling and control of excitations in superfluid helium

Harris, G. I., McAuslan, D. L., Sheridan, E., Sachkou, Y., Baker, C. and Bowen, W. P. (2016) Laser cooling and control of excitations in superfluid helium. Nature Physics, 12 8: 788-793. doi:10.1038/nphys3714

Author Harris, G. I.
McAuslan, D. L.
Sheridan, E.
Sachkou, Y.
Baker, C.
Bowen, W. P.
Title Laser cooling and control of excitations in superfluid helium
Journal name Nature Physics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1745-2481
Publication date 2016-04-04
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nphys3714
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 12
Issue 8
Start page 788
End page 793
Total pages 6
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract Superfluidity is a quantum state of matter that exists macroscopically in helium at low temperatures. The elementary excitations in superfluid helium have been probed with great success using techniques such as neutron and light scattering. However, measurements of phonon excitations have so far been limited to average thermodynamic properties or the driven response far out of thermal equilibrium. Here, we use cavity optomechanics to probe the thermodynamics of phonon excitations in real time. Furthermore, strong light–matter interactions allow both laser cooling and amplification. This represents a new tool to observe and control superfluid excitations that may provide insight into phonon–phonon interactions, quantized vortices and two-dimensional phenomena such as the Berezinskii–Kosterlitz–Thouless transition. The third sound modes studied here also offer a pathway towards quantum optomechanics with thin superfluid films, including the prospect of femtogram masses, high mechanical quality factors, strong phonon–phonon and phonon–vortex interactions, and self-assembly into complex geometries with sub-nanometre feature size.
Keyword Excitations
Laser cooling
Superfluid helium
Cavity optomechanics
Phonon excitations
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
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