2010, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Herrmann, Maximilian; Vahala, Kerry; Knünz, Sebastian; Batteiger, Valentin; Saathoff, Guido; Udem, Thomas; Hänsch, Theodor W.
For decades physicists have been trying to realize a so-called phonon laser, a device that represents a mechanical analogue to an optical laser. It operates based on quantized oscillations (phonons) as opposed to quantized light (photons). This has now been demonstrated for the first time using a single, trapped ion. The crucial ingredient was a blue-detuned laser beam that serves as an energy source for the ion’s motion. Moreover, it could be shown that the phonon laser is a promising system for the detection of ultra-weak forces.