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Amplitude sensing below the zero-point fluctuations with a two-dimensional trapped-ion mechanical oscillator

Published

Author(s)

Kevin A. Gilmore, Justin G. Bohnet, Brian C. Sawyer, Joseph W. Britton, John J. Bollinger

Abstract

We present measurements of the amplitude of a center-of-mass (COM) motion of a two-dimensional ion crystal composed of 100 ions in a Penning trap. For motion off-resonant with the trap axial frequency we demonstrate measurements of amplitudes as small as 50 pm, 40 times smaller than the COM mode zero-point fluctuations. The basic technique employs a spin-dependent, optical-dipole force to couple the mechanical oscillation to the electron spins of the trapped ions, enabling a strong measurement of one quadrature of the COM motion through a readout of the spins. We show the limiting sensitivity of the measurement is set by spin projection noise and spin decoherence due to off-resonant light scattering from the optical-dipole force. Variations of the protocol demonstrated here can achieve a sensitivity below 20 pm/sqrt(Hz), which will be useful for detecting extremely weak forces (
Citation
Physical Review Letters

Keywords

electric field sensing, force sensing, Penning trap, quantum sensing, trapped ions, zero-point fluctuations

Citation

Gilmore, K. , Bohnet, J. , Sawyer, B. , Britton, J. and Bollinger, J. (2017), Amplitude sensing below the zero-point fluctuations with a two-dimensional trapped-ion mechanical oscillator, Physical Review Letters, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=923013 (Accessed September 27, 2022)
Created June 29, 2017, Updated September 27, 2017