Jan 182012


Observation of Quantum Motion of a Nanomechanical Resonator

Amir H. Safavi-Naeini, Jasper Chan, Jeff T. Hill, Thiago P. Mayer Alegre, Alex Krause, and Oskar Painter

Physical Review Letters, 108, 033602 (2012)

See accompanying Physics Viewpoint

In this Letter we use resolved sideband laser cooling to cool a mesoscopic mechanical resonator to near its quantum ground state (phonon occupancy 2.6 +/- 0.2), and observe the motional sidebands generated on a second probe laser. Asymmetry in the sideband amplitudes provides a direct measure of the displacement noise power associated with quantum zero-point fluctuations of the nanomechanical resonator, and allows for an intrinsic calibration of the phonon occupation number.

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