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Quantum amplification of mechanical oscillator motion

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Science  21 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6446, pp. 1163-1165
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw2884

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Improving precision with quantum amplification

Quantum mechanically, an object can be described by a pair of noncommuting observables, typically by its position and momentum. The precision to which these observables can be measured is limited by unavoidable quantum fluctuations. However, the method of “squeezing” allows the fluctuations to be manipulated, while preserving the Heisenberg uncertainty relation. This allows improved measurement precision for one observable at the expense of increased fluctuations in the other. Burd et al. now show that an additional displacement of a trapped atom results in amplification of the squeezing and a further improvement in the precision with which the displacement can be determined (see the Perspective by Schleier-Smith). This technique should be useful for a number of applications in metrology.

Science, this issue p. 1163; see also p. 1137

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