Synopsis: The chill factor of squeezed light

A laser beam in a squeezed state may be an effective source for cooling a macroscopic resonator.
Synopsis figure
Illustration: Alan Stonebraker

Cooling a macroscopic object to its mechanical ground state would enable many high-precision measurements that are currently limited by thermal noise, as well as open the possibility to observe a macroscopic quantum superposition of quantum states.

Analogous to the laser cooling of neutral atoms, radiation pressure can cool a mechanical resonator, such as a nanoscale beam. This has become an active area of research since the first experimental demonstrations in 2006, but so far, it has not been possible to cool a resonator completely to its ground state.

In a paper appearing in Physical Review A, Sumei Huang and Girish Agarwal of Oklahoma State University propose that using a “squeezed” beam of light instead of a classical field can enhance the effectiveness of cooling a resonator with radiation pressure. In a squeezed beam, one component of the radiation field has reduced noise at the expense of enhanced noise in the other component. Huang and Agarwal show that by coupling a parametric oscillator (a source of squeezed light) to a mechanical resonator, it should be possible to reduce the temperature of the resonator by a factor up to 20 compared with using a classical field.

If this method can be experimentally demonstrated and verified, it may lead to ground-state cooling of optomechanical resonators and have applications in high-precision metrology, such as gravitational wave detection. – Frank Narducci


Announcements

More Announcements »

Subject Areas

Optics

Previous Synopsis

Next Synopsis

Superconductivity

Superconductivity can be sensitive

Read More »

Related Articles

Synopsis: Tiny Oscillator Works as Photon Changing Room
Quantum Physics

Synopsis: Tiny Oscillator Works as Photon Changing Room

A new device converts the frequency of a photon using the vibrations in a mechanical oscillator. Read More »

Synopsis: All-Around Single-Photon Source
Quantum Information

Synopsis: All-Around Single-Photon Source

A quantum dot embedded in a micropillar is an efficient source of pure and indistinguishable single photons. Read More »

Viewpoint: Closing the Door on Einstein and Bohr’s Quantum Debate
Optics

Viewpoint: Closing the Door on Einstein and Bohr’s Quantum Debate

By closing two loopholes at once, three experimental tests of Bell’s inequalities remove the last doubts that we should renounce local realism. They also open the door to new quantum information technologies. Read More »

More Articles