Tuesday, March 8, 2011
How long does a tuning fork ring? 'Quantum-mechanics' solve a very classical problem: For many of these applications it is necessary to minimize the mechanical loss. However, it had previously remained a challenge to make numerical predictions of the attainable Q for even relatively straightforward geometries. Researchers from Vienna and Munich have now overcome this hurdle by developing a finite-element-based numerical solver that is capable of predicting the design-limited damping of almost arbitrary mechanical resonators. "We calculate how elementary mechanical excitations, or phonons, radiate from the mechanical resonator into the supports of the device"