Figure 1 - Schematic showing the microwave resonant circuit used to measure the position of a nanomechanical resonator (the aluminium nanowire shown in the dashed circle) with an imprecision below that at the standard quantum limit.


From the following article

Measurement: Facing Heisenberg at the nanoscale

Aashish Clerk

Nature Nanotechnology 4, 796 - 798 (2009)

doi:10.1038/nnano.2009.368

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The microwave circuit is made from aluminium (grey) on a silicon substrate (blue). The system behaves like an LC circuit with a fixed inductance L and a capacitance C that is modulated by the motion of the resonator. The capacitor is formed by the aluminium nanowire and a piece of metal immediately to the right of the nanowire. Microwave systems have two advantages over optical systems in this type of experiment. The resonators can be smaller, which leads to larger zero-point motions (making it easier to detect quantum phenomena) and higher resonant frequencies (making it is easier to cool the system towards its ground state). They are also, in general, more compatible with cryogenic cooling, again making it easier to get close to the ground state, although cryogenic cooling of an optomechanical system has recently been demonstrated8.

GREG KUEBLER / JILA / UNIV. COLORADO

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