Quantum entanglement in an oscillating macroscopic mirror
Department of Physics, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70148, USA
Corresponding author: a firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: 28 October 2005
Published online: 28 March 2006
In this paper, we revisit the problem of quantum entanglement in an oscillating macroscopic mirror previously studied by Marshall et al. consisting of a modified Michelson interferometer where one of the mirrors is free to oscillate about its center of mass. A photon incident upon the oscillating mirror becomes entangled with the mirror, driving the mirror into a superposition of quantum states. Once the photon and mirror decouple, the mirror returns to its initial state. The purpose of our investigations was to optimize the parameter regime, taking into consideration the current state of technology and the demands imposed by the need to maintain a stable environment in the presence of thermal noise. Optimization should not demand ultra-low temperatures and this is reflected in our results. Our results also show that if the separation between states is maintained at 10-14 m, the mirror size is reduced, making it easier to induce superposition in the mirror. The critical nature of mirror reflectivity and its connection to cavity decay rate was also revealed by our investigations. The results obtained through our investigations could be useful in quantum error correction, where decoherence negatively affects the results of computations performed by quantum computers. Finally, we note that we are only concerned with an isolated system, where no losses to the external environment occur and any decoherence that occurs within the system remains internal to the system; that is, any mention of decoherence refers specifically to recoverable decoherence.
PACS: 03.65.-w – Quantum mechanics / 07.05.Kf – Data analysis: algorithms and implementation; data management / 42.25.Hz – Interference / 42.25.Kb – Coherence
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2006