Tuesday, Feb 28th: Topological physics with a pair of oscillators: beyond the Berry phase via exceptional points

Event Date: 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 4:00pm

Event Date Details: 

Refreshments will be served at 3:40 p.m.

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640
  • Physics Colloquium

Topological phenomena appear in a number of physical systems, from exotic quantum states to carefully engineered waveguides. These phenomena offer new types of control, and are also intriguing in their own right. I will describe a topological feature that is generically present in one of nature's simplest systems: a pair of coupled oscillators. I will describe experiments in which we demonstrate this feature and use it to achieve topological control over the excitations of a mechanical oscillator. These effects are classical, but our experiments are carried out using an optomechanical device that exhibits detectable quantum fluctuations. I will describe some prospects for studying the interplay of topological and quantum effects in such a system.