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Physicists skirt thermal vibration, transfer signal

Published: 16 Nov 2012

Using tiny radiation pressure forces -- generated each time light is reflected off a surface -- University of Oregon physicists converted an optical field, or signal, from one color to another. Aided by a "dark mode," the conversion occurs through the coupling between light and a mechanical oscillator, without interruption by thermal mechanical vibrations. […] The Oregon group solved the problem by demonstrating the "dark-mode" approach proposed earlier this year by theoretical physicists from McGill University and the University of California, Merced. By achieving the dark mode, the color-conversion process is immune to thermal noise, even though the conversion is still mediated by the same mechanical oscillator. This approach provides an alternative to cooling the mechanical oscillator to eliminate the noise.

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