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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Jan 20;108(3):033602. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Observation of quantum motion of a nanomechanical resonator.

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Thomas J. Watson, Sr., Laboratory of Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.


In this Letter we use resolved sideband laser cooling to cool a mesoscopic mechanical resonator to near its quantum ground state (phonon occupancy 2.6±0.2), and observe the motional sidebands generated on a second probe laser. Asymmetry in the sideband amplitudes provides a direct measure of the displacement noise power associated with quantum zero-point fluctuations of the nanomechanical resonator, and allows for an intrinsic calibration of the phonon occupation number.

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