Levitated Optomechanics Group

D'Urso Lab

We are a research group in the Department of Physics at Montana State University (MSU) in beautiful Bozeman, MT. We pursue new precision measurements and addresses fundamental physics questions using levitated optomechanics. We utilize microparticles and nanoparticles levitated in magnetic, optical, and Paul traps under vacuum to make sensitive measurements with controlled coupling to the environment. Two specific goals we are currently pursuing include fundamental tests of quantum mechanics and quantum gravity and a new approach to a precision measurement of the Newtonian gravitational constant G.

Montana State University is as remarkable as its setting. Created as a land-grant institution, it is a welcoming, adventurous community of students, faculty and staff distinguished by its commitment to address the world’s greatest challenges. The university energizes individuals to discover and pursue their aspirations. It inspires people to engage with the university to improve the human prospect through excellence in education, research, creativity and civic responsibility.

We are looking for passionate new Ph.D. students, master students, and undergraduates to join the team (more info) !

We are grateful for funding from Montana State University, the National Science Foundation, the II-VI Foundation Block-Gift Program, and the Montana NASA EPSCoR program.


December 21, 2020

Despite the pandemic, we've had a great year. Two group members made big advances in their careers: Charlie Lewandowski was awarded a prestigious NRC postoctoral fellowship and accepted a position at AFRL and Brad Slezak is now working at AdvR nearby in Bozeman. Cody Jessup and Dakota Chapman joined the group as new graduate students. We still have room for more students!


The D'Urso Lab has been continuing to work through the pandemic! Most presentations are on hold, but check back for updates on publications, group members, and more in the near future.

June 18, 2019

Our latest publication in Applied Physics Letters is featured as an AIP Scilight! See Creating a microsphere 'molecule' in a magneto-gravitational trap.

February 8, 2019

Brian D'Urso is giving the MSU Physics Colloquium, 'Probing Gravity with Optomechanics: A particle in a magneto-gravitational trap.'

January 10, 2019

We're giving a talk at SPIE Photonics West, 'Precision optomechanics with a particle in a magneto-gravitational trap.'

December 12, 2018

We set a new group record for feedback cooling, with hints of more improvements to come! Publication in New Journal of Physics.

December 10, 2018

D'Urso Lab website is live!

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