Hanbury Brown and Twiss interferometry of single phonons from an optomechanical resonator

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Science  21 Sep 2017:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan7939

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Nano- and micromechanical devices have become a focus of attention as new solid-state quantum devices. Reliably generating non-classical states of their motion is of interest both for addressing fundamental questions about macroscopic quantum phenomena as well as for developing quantum technologies in the domains of sensing and transduction. We use quantum optical control techniques to conditionally generate single-phonon Fock states of a nanomechanical resonator. We perform a Hanbury Brown and Twiss type experiment that verifies the non-classical nature of the phonon state without requiring full state reconstruction. Our result establishes purely optical quantum control of a mechanical oscillator at the single phonon level.

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