• Length:
    6 Weeks
  • Effort:
    10–20 hours per week
  • Price:

    Add a Verified Certificate for $135 USD

  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
  • Language:
  • Video Transcript:
  • Course Type:
    Self-paced on your time


  • Graduate level electrodynamics, statistical physics and quantum mechanics
  • Familiar with the concepts of quantum optics and open quantum systems

About this course

Skip About this course

Optomechanics is the study of the interaction between light and mechanical systems which can result in the manipulation of the state of both light and the mechanics. The nature of this interaction gives rise to a wide range of applications in both fundamental physics and technological advancements.

In this course, you will learn the concepts and tools required for conducting research in the field of cavity optomechanics. The key topics include the theoretical basis for studying both mechanical and optical resonators, the new physics emerging from their interaction, and the various tools and techniques used in designing a cavity optomechanical experiment.

The course is taught by a network of experts in the field comprising 14 partners from 12 renowned universities and 2 leading industries located in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Become familiar with the history, recent developments and applications of optomechanics
  • Understand the physics of mechanical and optical resonators
  • Understand the radiation pressure force and the optomechanical interaction
  • Understand the classical and quantum mechanical optomechanical phenomena
  • Learn the tools for designing an optomechanical experiment

Week 1: Introduction

  1. Motivation
  2. Qualitative basics
  3. Optical forces
  4. Optomechanical forces in circuits

Week 2: Optical and mechanical resonators

  1. Classical description of resonators
  2. Basics of elasticity
  3. Mechanical dissipation
  4. Stochastic processes and Brownian motion

Week 3: Classical dynamics

  1. Optomechanical coupling and equations of motion
  2. Dynamical backaction
  3. Nonlinear dynamics
  4. Quantization of harmonic oscillator

Week 4: Quantum dynamics

  1. Quantum optics of a cavity
  2. Quantum equations of motion
  3. Quantum theory of the optomechanical cooling
  4. Strong coupling regime
  5. Optomechanically induced transparency

Week 5: Quantum correlations

  1. Homodyne detection
  2. Displacement sensing and the standard quantum limit
  3. Squeezed light and applications in gravitational wave detection
  4. Optomechanical squeezing
  5. Entanglement in cavity optomechanical systems

Week 6: Experimental methods

  1. Experimental platforms
  2. Photonic crystals
  3. Fabrication methods
  4. Finite element simulations

Meet your instructors

Tobias Kippenberg
Markus Aspelmeyer
University of Vienna
Florian Marquardt
Max Planck Institute
Albert Schliesser
University of Copenhagen

Pursue a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain
$135 USD

View a PDF of a sample edX certificate
  • Official and Verified

    Receive an instructor-signed certificate with the institution's logo to verify your achievement and increase your job prospects

  • Easily Shareable

    Add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn

  • Proven Motivator

    Give yourself an additional incentive to complete the course

  • Support our Mission

    edX, a non-profit, relies on verified certificates to help fund free education for everyone globally

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.