AlbaNova Colloquium

Listening to Quantum Sound

by John Teufel (NIST)

FD5 (AlbaNova Main Building)


AlbaNova Main Building


Quantum mechanics is traditionally considered when measuring at the extreme microscopic scale, i.e. single photons, electrons or atoms.  However, even the early pioneers of the quantum theory postulated gedanken experiments in which quantum effects would manifest on an everyday scale. I will present recent experiments in which we engineer and measure microelectromechanical (MEMs) circuits to observe and to exploit quantum behavior at an increasingly macroscopic scale.  By embedding mechanical resonators in superconducting microwave circuits, we achieve strong radiation-pressure coupling between fields and motion that allows us to perform quantum experiments of massive objects.  I review our experimental progress in cooling, squeezing and entangling motion, as well as ongoing efforts toward arbitrary quantum control of mechanical systems.  The ability to prepare and to “listen” to quantum sound has implications for fundamental science as well as many powerful applications including the processing, storage and networking of quantum information.

About the speaker:

Dr. John D. Teufel is an experimental physicist in the Applied Physics Division of NIST Boulder. He received his PhD in physics from Yale University on a fellowship from NASA studying superconducting photon detectors. Now as a project leader in the Advanced Microwave Photonics group at NIST, he uses the tools of nanofabrication and precision microwave measurements at cryogenic temperatures to explore the quantum behavior of macroscopic systems. This includes development and metrology of superconducting qubits, optomechanical circuits and Josephson parametric technology.