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Quantum and dynamical back-action effects using a gram-scale mechanical resonator in a high-finesse optical cavity

Alexandros Tavernarakis 1 
1 Mesures et Bruits Fondamentaux
LKB (Jussieu) - Laboratoire Kastler Brossel
Abstract : Cavity Optomechanics, that is the study of the interaction between an optical cavity mode and a mechanical degree of freedom, has known impressive evolution over the past decade, to become a new field at the union of condensed matter physics and optics. One of the major goals of this discipline is to test and study quantum mechanics using macroscopic systems. Among the most fundamental problems the community aims to address is the question of the quantum limits in position measurement. Quantum mechanics predicts that any measurement comes along with a backaction, which perturbs the state of the measured system. Moreover, it is expected to be conjugated with the quantum noise of the measurement apparatus (called measurement noise) used to probe the system. The optimal sensitivity is reached whenever both the measurement and the backaction noise are identical, a situation which can be assimilated to the acceptance of Heisenberg's inequality for the measurement apparatus. In cavity optomechanics, the mode of an optical cavity is used as a measurement apparatus of the position of a mechanical resonator which is expected to be responsible for the backaction imprecision. However, this so-called radiation pressure quantum backaction has never been observed to date, while it remains a decisive step towards understanding quantum measurement processes. We describe in this manuscript the study of radiation pressure effects in cavity optomechanics. We introduce the optomechanical system we have developed, which consists in a cm-scale ultra high Q (~ 1 000 000) plano-convex mechanical resonator incorporated into a ultra-high finesse (~ 300 000) Fabry-Prot cavity. We present two important results we obtained with this system. First, we were able to report the first direct observation of radiation pressure in real-time, based on establishing pump-probe correlations. We were also able to demonstrate for the first time nonlinear backaction effects related to substantial improvement of position measurement sensitivity. We explain why demonstrating quantum backaction requires ultra-high stability of the optical mode. We present important changes made to the previous experimental setup, notably on the laser source, on the detection and the stabilization of the experiment. We then describe a new optomechanical detection technique providing an independent measurement of the cavity detuning. Finally, we present a proof-of-principle experiment allowing to extract quantum optomechanical correlations at room temperature.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 15, 2013 - 2:07:01 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00813308, version 1

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Alexandros Tavernarakis. Quantum and dynamical back-action effects using a gram-scale mechanical resonator in a high-finesse optical cavity. Atomic Physics [physics.atom-ph]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : ⟩. ⟨tel-00813308⟩

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