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Nonlinear Sideband Cooling to a Cat State of Motion



Bradley Hauer, Joshua Combes, John Teufel


The ability to prepare a macroscopic mechanical resonator into a quantum superposition state is an outstanding goal of cavity optomechanics. Here, we propose a technique to generate cat states of motion using the intrinsic nonlinearity of a dispersive optomechanical interaction. By applying a bichromatic drive to an optomechanical cavity, our protocol enhances the inherent second-order processes of the system, inducing the requisite two-phonon dissipation. We show that this nonlinear sideband cooling technique can dissipatively engineer a mechanical resonator into a cat state, which we verify using the full Hamiltonian and an adiabatically reduced model. While the fidelity of the cat state is maximized in the single-photon, strong-coupling regime, we demonstrate that Wigner negativity persists even for weak coupling. Finally, we show that our cat state generation protocol is robust to significant thermal decoherence of the mechanical mode, indicating that such a procedure may be feasible for near-term experimental systems.
Physical Review Letters


Optomechanics, nanomechanics, quantum optics, quantum sensing, quantum computing


Hauer, B. , Combes, J. and Teufel, J. (2023), Nonlinear Sideband Cooling to a Cat State of Motion, Physical Review Letters, [online],, (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created May 25, 2023, Updated October 26, 2023