Single-phonon addition and subtraction to a mechanical thermal state

G. Enzian, J. J. Price, L. Freisem, J. Nunn, J. Janousek, B. C. Buchler, P. K. Lam, M. R. Vanner

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21 Citations (SciVal)


Adding or subtracting a single quantum of excitation to a thermal state of a bosonic system has the counter-intuitive effect of approximately doubling its mean occupation. We perform the first experimental demonstration of this effect outside optics by implementing single-phonon addition and subtraction to a thermal state of a mechanical oscillator via Brillouin optomechanics in an optical whispering-gallery microresonator. Using a detection scheme that combines single-photon counting and optical heterodyne detection, we observe this doubling of the mechanical thermal fluctuations to a high precision. The capabilities of this joint click-dyne detection scheme adds a significant new dimension for optomechanical quantum science and applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033601
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge useful discussions with J. Clarke, T. M. Hird, I. Galinskiy, M. S. Kim, K. E. Khosla, W. S. Kolthammer, G. J. Milburn, M. Parniak, I. Pikovski., E. S. Polzik, H. Shen, and I. A. Walmsley. We also thank P. Del’Haye, J. Silver, A. Svela, and S. Zhang for assistance fabricating tapered optical fibers. This project was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grants No. EP/N014995/1, No. EP/P510257/1, No. EP/T001062/1), UK Research and Innovation (Grant No. MR/S032924/1), the Royal Society, EU Horizon 2020 Program (Grant No. 847523 ‘INTERACTIONS’), and the Australian Research Council (Grants No. CE170100012, No. FL150100019).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Physical Society.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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