Quantum feedback cooling of a mechanical oscillator using variational measurements: Tweaking Heisenberg's microscope

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We revisit the problem of preparing a mechanical oscillator in the vicinity of its quantummechanical ground state by means of feedback cooling based on continuous optical detection of the oscillator position. In the parameter regime relevant to ground-state cooling, the optical backaction and imprecision noise set the bottleneck of achievable cooling and must be carefully balanced. This can be achieved by adapting the phase of the local oscillator in the homodyne detection realizing a so-called variational measurement. The trade-off between accurate position measurement and minimal disturbance can be understood in terms of Heisenbergs microscope and becomes particularly relevant when the measurement and feedback processes happen to be fast within the quantum coherence time of the system to be cooled. This corresponds to the regime of large quantum cooperativity Cq ≳ 1, which was achieved in recent experiments on feedback cooling. Our method provides a simple path to further pushing the limits of current state-of-the-art experiments in quantum optomechanics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number084004
JournalJournal of Optics
Issue number8
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • feedback cooling, Heisenberg's microscope, quantum optomechanics, variational measurements

ID: 227753914