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Cavity optomechanics in the single-photon strong-coupling regime

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In optomechanical systems mechanical degrees of freedom are coupled to the modes of the electromagnetic field inside optical or microwave resonators. In most setups the position of the mechanical oscillator linearly modulates the cavity frequency. Several experiments, using ultracold atoms in optical resonators, optomechanical crystals, or superconducting circuits, are now approaching the limit where the radiation pressure of a single photon displaces the mechanical oscillator by more than its zero-point uncertainty.

In this talk I will show that this single-photon strong-coupling regime can be detected in the cavity response as well as the optical output spectrum. The system exhibits photon-blockade physics inducing non-Gaussian states of the mechanics and non-classical states of light [PRL 107, 063602 (2011)]. Moreover, I will explain how red-sideband cooling is modified in this regime. In the resolved-sideband limit there are cooling resonances characterized by non-thermal mechanical steady-states [arXiv:1202.3263, PRA in press].

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