Measuring mechanical motion with a single spin

Author(s): S.D. Bennett, S.J. Kolkowitz, Q. Unterreithmeier, P. Rabl, A. Jayich, J. Harris

Journal: New Journal of Physics

Volume: 14

Page(s): 125004

Year: 2012

DOI Number: 10.1088/1367-2630/14/12/125004

Link: Link to publication

Abstract:

We study theoretically the measurement of a mechanical oscillator using a single two-level system as a detector. In a recent experiment, we used a single electronic spin associated with a nitrogen–vacancy center in diamond to probe the thermal motion of a magnetized cantilever at room temperature (Kolkowitz et al 2012 Science 335 1603). Here, we present a detailed analysis of the sensitivity limits of this technique, as well as the possibility to measure the zero-point motion of the oscillator. Further, we discuss the issue of measurement backaction in sequential measurements and find that although backaction heating can occur, it does not prohibit the detection of zero-point motion. Throughout the paper, we focus on the experimental implementation of a nitrogen–vacancy center coupled to a magnetic cantilever; however, our results are applicable to a wide class of spin–oscillator systems. The implications for the preparation of nonclassical states of a mechanical oscillator are also discussed.

Note: http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.6740

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