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Sideband cooling of micromechanical motion to the quantum ground state

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      Observation of bose-einstein condensation in a dilute atomic vapor.

      A Bose-Einstein condensate was produced in a vapor of rubidium-87 atoms that was confined by magnetic fields and evaporatively cooled. The condensate fraction first appeared near a temperature of 170 nanokelvin and a number density of 2.5 x 10(12) per cubic centimeter and could be preserved for more than 15 seconds. Three primary signatures of Bose-Einstein condensation were seen. (i) On top of a broad thermal velocity distribution, a narrow peak appeared that was centered at zero velocity. (ii) The fraction of the atoms that were in this low-velocity peak increased abruptly as the sample temperature was lowered. (iii) The peak exhibited a nonthermal, anisotropic velocity distribution expected of the minimum-energy quantum state of the magnetic trap in contrast to the isotropic, thermal velocity distribution observed in the broad uncondensed fraction.
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        Quantum ground state and single-phonon control of a mechanical resonator.

        Quantum mechanics provides a highly accurate description of a wide variety of physical systems. However, a demonstration that quantum mechanics applies equally to macroscopic mechanical systems has been a long-standing challenge, hindered by the difficulty of cooling a mechanical mode to its quantum ground state. The temperatures required are typically far below those attainable with standard cryogenic methods, so significant effort has been devoted to developing alternative cooling techniques. Once in the ground state, quantum-limited measurements must then be demonstrated. Here, using conventional cryogenic refrigeration, we show that we can cool a mechanical mode to its quantum ground state by using a microwave-frequency mechanical oscillator-a 'quantum drum'-coupled to a quantum bit, which is used to measure the quantum state of the resonator. We further show that we can controllably create single quantum excitations (phonons) in the resonator, thus taking the first steps to complete quantum control of a mechanical system.
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          Cavity optomechanics: back-action at the mesoscale.

          The coupling of optical and mechanical degrees of freedom is the underlying principle of many techniques to measure mechanical displacement, from macroscale gravitational wave detectors to microscale cantilevers used in scanning probe microscopy. Recent experiments have reached a regime where the back-action of photons caused by radiation pressure can influence the optomechanical dynamics, giving rise to a host of long-anticipated phenomena. Here we review these developments and discuss the opportunities for innovative technology as well as for fundamental science.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Nature
            Nature
            Springer Science and Business Media LLC
            0028-0836
            1476-4687
            July 2011
            July 6 2011
            July 2011
            : 475
            : 7356
            : 359-363
            10.1038/nature10261
            © 2011

            http://www.springer.com/tdm

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