Date of Completion


Embargo Period



vacuum fluctuations, dynamical Casimir

Major Advisor

Dr. Susanne F. Yelin

Associate Advisor

Dr. Niloy Dutta

Associate Advisor

Dr. George Gibson

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


Vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field are a direct manifestation of quantum effects. The dynamical Casimir effect (DCE) is the production of photons by the amplification of vacuum fluctuations. In this work we demonstrate new resonance conditions in DCE that potentially allow the production of optical photons when the mechanical frequency is smaller than the lowest frequency of the cavity field. We consider a cavity with one mirror fixed and the other allowed to oscillate. In order to identify the region where production of photons takes place, we do a linear stability analysis and investigate the dynamic stability of the system under small fluctuations. By using a numerical solution of the Heisenberg equations of motion, the time evolution of the number of photons produced in the unstable region is studied. Additionally, by using a fully quantized scheme, we investigate the coupling of the two degrees of freedom starting with no photons and phonons, and analyze amplification of vacuum fluctuations of both the cavity field and the mirror's motion. We study the optomechanical configuration in the deep strong coupling regime, where the single--photon coupling rate is on the same order of magnitude as the cavity frequency. The time evolution of the average number of photons and phonons is treated using the Heisenberg-Langevin formalism.

Available for download on Wednesday, August 08, 2018