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Quantum Back Action in Tabletop Interferometers

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We describe a proposal to detect radiation pressure shot noise in a cavity-optomechanical system. Our theoretical model consists of a coherently driven optical cavity that is coupled to a mechanical oscillator. We examine the cross-correlation between two quadratures of the output fields from the cavity, and determine under which circumstances radiation pressure shot noise can be detected by a measurement of this cross- correlation. We study the qualitative features of the different contributions to the cross-correlator and provide quantitative figures of merit for the relative importance of the radiation pressure shot noise and other contributions. We also describe work on a “membrane-in-the-middle” cavity-optomechanical device which may detect radiation pressure shot noise at room temperature.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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