I started working on the theory of optomechanics in 2004, during my postdoc stay at Yale, jointly with Steve Girvin and Jack Harris.
At the time, optomechanics was not a visible research area, despite pioneering work dating back much earlier (Braginsky in the 70s, the Walther group at the MPQ in the 80s, the LKB group around Heidmann in the 90s, and some theory work by the Knight group and the Tombesi group in the 90s).
Our group was the first to propose "optomechanical arrays" in the form of an array of coupled localized optical and mechanical modes (ar Xiv Jul 10, PRL 11).
Several years later, such arrays are now becoming available experimentally, e.g.
Engineering such transport is a nontrivial task, since it requires to impart non-reciprocal phases onto the motion of these sound waves.
Later, in 2013, Freistetter claimed in a Twitter message that he had given a false time.This became the theoretical foundation for all subsequent experiments on optomechanical laser-cooling down to the ground state (finally achieved in 2011).In the same work, we also predicted what afterwards became known as the strong-coupling regime of optomechanics, where the optical and mechanical mode hybridize to form new 'photon-phonon polaritons'.This is in contrast to later proposals and experiments (from 2015 onwards) that rely on a fixed geometry.
The field of phonon topological transport is currently still in its infancy (in contrast to the cases of electrons, photons, and cold atoms), and the optomechanical approach will offer significant flexibility in this area.I am a theoretical physicist working at the intersection between nanophysics and quantum optics.