Entangling Mechanical Motion with Microwave Fields

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Science  08 Nov 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6159, pp. 710-713
DOI: 10.1126/science.1244563

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Optomechanically Entangled

Quantum entanglement allows engineered quantum systems to exceed classical information processing bounds. Palomaki et al. (p. 710, published online 3 October; see the Perspective by Hammerer) extend this quantum resource into the domain of micromechanical oscillators by demonstrating entanglement between a microwave field and a mechanical oscillator. The mechanical part of the entangled state could then be transferred to a second microwave field.


When two physical systems share the quantum property of entanglement, measurements of one system appear to determine the state of the other. This peculiar property is used in optical, atomic, and electrical systems in an effort to exceed classical bounds when processing information. We extended the domain of this quantum resource by entangling the motion of a macroscopic mechanical oscillator with a propagating electrical signal and by storing one half of the entangled state in the mechanical oscillator. This result demonstrates an essential requirement for using compact and low-loss micromechanical oscillators in a quantum processor, can be extended to sense forces beyond the standard quantum limit, and may enable tests of quantum theory.

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