High-sensitivity optical monitoring of a micromechanical resonator with a quantum-limited optomechanical sensor

Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Sep 29;97(13):133601. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.133601. Epub 2006 Sep 26.


We experimentally demonstrate the high-sensitivity optical monitoring of a micromechanical resonator and its cooling by active control. Coating a low-loss mirror upon the resonator, we have built an optomechanical sensor based on a very high-finesse cavity (30 000). We have measured the thermal noise of the resonator with a quantum-limited sensitivity at the 10(-19) m/sqrt[Hz] level, and cooled the resonator down to 5 K by a cold-damping technique. Applications of our setup range from quantum optics experiments to the experimental demonstration of the quantum ground state of a macroscopic mechanical resonator.