Quantum optomechanics

Quantum optomechanics is a new area where radiation pressure from light or microwave fields couples mechanical and optical degrees of freedom at the quantum level. There is currently a big international push to utilise this coupling to achieve truly non-classical behaviour in macroscopic mechanical oscillators. This could not only further our understanding of the physical world, but also allow new technologies such as ultra-sensitive mass or spin sensors capable of detecting single atoms, or memories and state transfer for quantum computers. Key capabilities for achieving quantum optomechanics include the ability to measure the mechanical oscillator with resolution close to or surpassing its zero-point motion; the possibility to feedback control the mechanical state based on measurement results; and access to mechanical nonlinearities to generate non-classical states. Our group is pursuing each of these capabilities. Recent results include: