Direct measurement of radiation pressure and circulating power inside a passive optical cavity. Academic Article uri icon


  • A mechanical force sensor coupled to two optical cavities is developed as a metrological tool. This system is used to generate a calibrated circulating optical power and to create a transfer standard for externally coupled optical power. The variability of the sensor as a transfer standard for optical power is less than 2%. The uncertainty in using the sensor to measure the circulating power inside the cavity is less than 3%. The force measured from the mechanical response of the sensor is compared to the force predicted from characterizing the optical spectrum of the cavity. These two forces are approximately 20% different. Potential sources for this disagreement are analyzed and discussed. The sensor is compact, portable, and can operate in ambient and vacuum environments. This device provides a pathway to novel nanonewton scale force and milliwatt scale laser power calibrations, enables direct measurement of the circulating power inside an optical cavity, and enhances the sensitivity of radiation pressure-based optical power transfer standards.

published proceedings

  • Opt Express

author list (cited authors)

  • Wagner, R., Guzman, F., Chijioke, A., Gulati, G. K., Keller, M., & Shaw, G.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Wagner, Ryan||Guzman, Felipe||Chijioke, Akobuije||Gulati, Gurpreet Kaur||Keller, Matthias||Shaw, Gordon

publication date

  • September 2018