Speaker: Stefan Forstner
Affiliation: University of Queensland


Quantum mechanics is an extremely well established theory for the microscopic. Yet, we never see cars, cats, or humans in a quantum state. The dynamics of macroscopic quantum systems are poorly understood and in fact, it is not known whether quantum mechanics, even in principle, applies to large objects. Cavity optomechanics allows extremely precise monitoring of the motion of relatively massive mechanical objects, down to well below atomic length scales. I will discuss how the optomechanical ‘toolbox’ can provide us with deeper experimental insight into macroscopic quantum systems. In particular, I will describe a scheme for an experiment that has the potential to probe whether quantum mechanics breaks down above a certain mass- or size-scale. If time allows, I will also briefly discuss how cavity optomechanics is helping us to gain deeper understanding of a specific macroscopic quantum system, namely superfluid helium.

About Physics Seminars

The weekly Physics Seminar series focuses on a broad range of physics research within SMP, along with frequent presentations from visiting researchers. Seminars are usually scheduled for 1:00pm on Tuesdays.

The talks are typically more specialised than a colloquium but are often attended by staff and PhD students across a broad range of areas. Speakers are thus encouraged to include introductory material in the talks.

All SMP researchers and HDR students are encouraged to speak. Please email Tyler Neely to register your interest.

The seminars are open so there is no need to register your attendance.

Previous recorded physics seminars 


Zoom address: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/91532972054