According to quantum mechanics, if we keep observing a continuous variable we generally disturb its evolution. For a class of observables, however, it is possible to implement a so-called quantum nondemolition measurement: by confining the perturbation to the conjugate variable, the observable is estimated with arbitrary accuracy, or prepared in a well-known state. For instance, when the light bounces on a movable mirror, its intensity is not perturbed (the effect is just seen on the phase of the radiation), but the radiation pressure allows one to trace back its fluctuations by observing the mirror motion. In this work, we implement a cavity optomechanical experiment based on an oscillating micromirror, and we measure correlations between the output light intensity fluctuations and the mirror motion. We demonstrate that the uncertainty of the former is reduced below the shot-noise level determined by the corpuscular nature of light.
Authors: A. Pontin, M. Bonaldi, A. Borrielli, L. Marconi, F. Marino, G. Pandraud, G. A. Prodi, P. M. Sarro, E. Serra, and F. Marin