Attonewton force detection using microspheres in a dual-beam optical trap in high vacuum

Gambhir Ranjit, David P. Atherton, Jordan H. Stutz, Mark Cunningham, Andrew A. Geraci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


We describe the implementation of laser-cooled silica microspheres as force sensors in a dual-beam optical dipole trap in high vacuum. Using this system we have demonstrated trap lifetimes exceeding several days, attonewton force detection capability, and wide tunability in trapping and cooling parameters. Measurements have been performed with charged and neutral beads to calibrate the sensitivity of the detector. This work establishes the suitability of dual-beam optical dipole traps for precision force measurement in high vacuum with long averaging times, and enables future applications including the study of gravitational inverse square law violations at short range, Casimir forces, acceleration sensing, and quantum optomechanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number051805
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 26 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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