Cavity Optomechanics I

  • Course Type: Graduate Course
  • Semester Offered: Spring
Course Number: 
Distance Course: 
Course Description: 
This course (1st in a two-module series) will introduce the field of cavity optomechanics. Early lessons will review mechanical resonators, optical cavities, and their coupling via radiation pressure. Detailed treatment will then be given to the canonical optomechanical system, a Fabry-Pérot cavity with a compliant end-mirror, leading to the concepts of radiation pressure dynamical back-action (optical stiffening and damping), stochastic back-action (radiation pressure shot noise), and the standard quantum limit for a continuous position measurement.
Students must have completed a course in graduate level quantum mechanics (e.g. OPTI-570 or equivalent). Students are furthermore encouraged to take OPTI-600G (1 unit, Laser Beams and Resonators), during the first 5 weeks of the term.
Dalziel Wilson
Office Hours: 

There are no required texts for the class, and class notes will be made available. Alternative reading sources will be referred to throughout the class and made available in the reading room and Science Library. As a starting point, the student is strongly recommended to download the recent review on cavity optomechanics by Aspelmeyer et. al. (Rev. Mod. Phys. 86, 1391 (2014)).

Attendance Policy: 
The UA’s policy concerning Class Attendance, Participation, and Administrative Drops is available at:
The UA policy regarding absences for any sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice will be accommodated where reasonable,
Absences pre-approved by the UA Dean of Students (or Dean Designee) will be honored. See:
Participating in the course and attending lectures and other course events are vital to the learning process. As such, attendance is required at all lectures and discussion section meetings. Students who miss class due to illness or emergency are required to bring documentation from their health-care provider or other relevant, professional third parties. Failure to submit third-party documentation will result in unexcused absences.
Course Syllabus: 
Academic Integrity

According to the Arizona Code of Academic Integrity, “Integrity is expected of every student in all academic work. The guiding principle of academic integrity is that a student’s submitted work must be the student’s own.” Unless otherwise noted by the instructor, work for all assignments in this course must be conducted independently by each student. Co-authored work of any kind is unacceptable. Misappropriation of exams before or after they are given will be considered academics misconduct.

Misconduct of any kind will be prosecuted and may result in any or all of the following:

  • Reduction of grade
  • Failing grade
  • Referral to the Dean of Students for consideration of additional penalty, i.e., notation on a student’s transcript re: academic integrity violation, etc.
Students with Learning Disabilities

If a student is registered with the Disability Resource Center, he/she must submit appropriate documentation to the instructor if he/she is requesting reasonable accommodations.

The information contained in this syllabus may be subject to change with reasonable advance notice, as deemed appropriate by the instructor.