Cooling-by-measurement and mechanical state tomography via pulsed optomechanics

Author(s): M. R. Vanner, S. Hofer, G. D. Cole, M. Aspelmeyer

Journal: Nature communications

Volume: 4

Page(s): 2295

Year: 2013

DOI Number: 10.1038/ncomms3295

Link: Link to publication


Observing a physical quantity without disturbing it is a key capability for the control of individual quantum systems. Such back-action-evading or quantum non-demolition measurements were first introduced in the 1970s for gravitational wave detection, and now such techniques are an indispensable tool throughout quantum science. Here we perform measurements of the position of a mechanical oscillator using pulses of light with a duration much shorter than a period of mechanical motion. Utilizing this back-action-evading interaction, we demonstrate state preparation and full state tomography of the mechanical motional state. We have reconstructed states with a position uncertainty reduced to 19 pm, limited by the quantum fluctuations of the optical pulse, and we have performed ‘cooling-by-measurement’ to reduce the mechanical mode temperature from an initial 1,100 to 16 K. Future improvements to this technique will allow for quantum squeezing of mechanical motion, even from room temperature, and reconstruction of non-classical states exhibiting negative phase-space quasi-probability.


Aspelmeyer Group Aspelmeyer Group