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Thursday, 27 May, 2010

Quantum Measurement of Phonon Shot Noise

A. A. Clerk, F. Marquardt, and J. G. E. Harris -
Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 213603 (2010)

We provide a full quantum mechanical analysis of a weak energy measurement of a driven mechanical resonator. We demonstrate that measurements too weak to resolve individual mechanical Fock states can nonetheless be used to detect the nonclassical energy fluctuations of the driven mechanical resonator, i.e., “phonon shot noise”. We also show that the third moment of the oscillator’s energy fluctuations provides a far more sensitive probe of quantum effects than the second moment, and that measuring the third moment via the phase shift of light in an optomechanical setup directly yields the type of operator ordering postulated in the theory of full-counting statistics.

 

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