Andreas Nunnenkamp


Cavendish Laboratory
University of Cambridge
J. J. Thomson Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 0HE
United Kingdom

email:view address


Research interests

My trajectory


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1.  Detection of weak forces based on noise-activated switching in bistable optomechanical systems
Samuel Aldana, Christoph Bruder, and Andreas Nunnenkamp.
Phys. Rev. A 90, 063810 (2014); arXiv:1409.8082.

We propose to use cavity optomechanical systems in the regime of optical bistability for the detection of weak harmonic forces. Due to the optomechanical coupling an external force on the mechanical oscillator modulates the resonance frequency of the cavity and consequently the switching rates between the two bistable branches. A large difference in the cavity output fields then leads to a strongly amplified homodyne signal. We determine the switching rates as a function of the cavity detuning from extensive numerical simulations of the stochastic master equation as appropriate for continuous homodyne detection. We develop a two-state rate equation model that quantitatively describes the slow switching dynamics. This model is solved analytically in the presence of a weak harmonic force to obtain approximate expressions for the power gain and signal-to-noise ratio that we then compare to force detection with an optomechanical system in the linear regime.

2.  Quantum synchronization of two Van der Pol oscillators
Stefan Walter, Andreas Nunnenkamp, and Christoph Bruder.
Ann. Phys. 527, 131 (2015); arXiv:1406.7134.

We study synchronization of two dissipatively coupled Van der Pol oscillators in the quantum regime. Due to quantum noise strict frequency locking is absent and is replaced by a crossover from weak to strong frequency entrainment. We discuss the differences to the behavior of one quantum Van der Pol oscillator subject to an external drive. Moreover, we describe a possible experimental realization of two coupled quantum van der Pol oscillators in an optomechanical setting.

3.  Quantum-limited amplification and parametric instability in the reversed dissipation regime of cavity optomechanics
A. Nunnenkamp, V. Sudhir, A. K. Feofanov, A. Roulet, and T. J. Kippenberg.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 023604 (2014); arXiv:1312.5867.

Cavity optomechanical phenomena, such as cooling, amplification, or optomechanically induced transparency, emerge due to a strong imbalance in the dissipation rates of the parametrically coupled electromagnetic and mechanical resonators. Here we analyze the reversed dissipation regime where the mechanical energy relaxation rate exceeds the energy decay rate of the electromagnetic cavity. We demonstrate that this regime allows for mechanically induced amplification (or cooling) of the electromagnetic mode. Gain, bandwidth, and added noise of this electromagnetic amplifier are derived and compared to amplification in the normal dissipation regime. In addition, we analyze the parametric instability, i.e., optomechanical Brillouin lasing, and contrast it to conventional optomechanical phonon lasing. Finally, we propose an experimental scheme that realizes the reversed dissipation regime using parametric coupling and optomechanical cooling with a second electromagnetic mode enabling quantum-limited amplification. Recent advances in high-Q superconducting microwave resonators make the reversed dissipation regime experimentally realizable.

4.  Quantum synchronization of a driven self-sustained oscillator
Stefan Walter, Andreas Nunnenkamp, and Christoph Bruder.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 094102 (2014); arXiv:1307.7044.

Synchronization is a universal phenomenon that is important both in fundamental studies and in technical applications. Here we investigate synchronization in the simplest quantum-mechanical scenario possible, i.e., a quantum-mechanical self-sustained oscillator coupled to an external harmonic drive. Using the power spectrum we analyze synchronization in terms of frequency entrainment and frequency locking in close analogy to the classical case. We show that there is a step-like crossover to a synchronized state as a function of the driving strength. In contrast to the classical case, there is a finite threshold value in driving. Quantum noise reduces the synchronized region and leads to a deviation from strict frequency locking.

5.  On the equivalence between an optomechanical system and a Kerr medium
Samuel Aldana, Christoph Bruder, and Andreas Nunnenkamp.
Phys. Rev. A 88, 043826 (2013); arXiv:1306.0415.

We study the optical bistability of an optomechanical system in which the position of a mechanical oscillator modulates the cavity frequency. The steady-state mean-field equation of the optical mode is identical to the one for a Kerr medium, and thus we expect it to have the same characteristic behavior with a lower, a middle, and an upper branch. However, the presence of position fluctuations of the mechanical resonator leads to a new feature: the upper branch will become unstable at sufficiently strong driving in certain parameter regimes. We identify the appropriate parameter regime for the upper branch to be stable, and we confirm, by numerical investigation of the quantum steady state, that the mechanical mode indeed acts as a Kerr nonlinearity for the optical mode in the low-temperature limit. This equivalence of the optomechanical system and the Kerr medium will be important for future applications of cavity optomechanics in quantum nonlinear optics and quantum information science.

6.  Signatures of nonlinear cavity optomechanics in the weak coupling regime
K. Borkje, A. Nunnenkamp, J. D. Teufel, and S. M. Girvin.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 053603 (2013); arXiv:1304.4155.

We identify signatures of the intrinsic nonlinear interaction between light and mechanical motion in cavity optomechanical systems. These signatures are observable even when the cavity linewidth exceeds the optomechanical coupling rate. A strong laser drive red detuned by twice the mechanical frequency from the cavity resonance frequency makes two-phonon processes resonant, which leads to a nonlinear version of optomechanically induced transparency. This effect provides a new method of measuring the average phonon number of the mechanical oscillator. Furthermore, we show that if the strong laser drive is detuned by half the mechanical frequency, optomechanically induced transparency also occurs due to resonant two-photon processes. The cavity response to a second probe drive is in this case nonlinear in the probe power. These effects should be observable with optomechanical coupling strengths that have already been realized in experiments.

7.  Quantum limit of laser cooling in dispersively- and dissipatively-coupled optomechanical systems
Talitha Weiss and Andreas Nunnenkamp.
Phys. Rev. A 88, 023850 (2013); arXiv:1304.2685.

Mechanical oscillators can be cooled by coupling them to an optical or microwave cavity. Going beyond the standard quantum noise approach, we find an analytic expression for the steady-state phonon number in systems where the position of the mechanical oscillator modulates the cavity frequency as well as the cavity linewidth. We trace the origin for the quantum limit of cooling to fluctuations in the optical force both at and away from the mechanical frequency. Finally, we calculate the minimal phonon number for the different types of couplings. Our study elucidates how to beneficially combine dispersive and dissipative optomechanical couplings.

8.  Microwave-controlled coupling of Majorana bound states
Thomas L. Schmidt, Andreas Nunnenkamp, and Christoph Bruder.
New J. Phys. 15, 025043 (2013); arXiv:1302.4033.

We propose microwave-controlled rotations for qubits realized as Majorana bound states. To this end, we study an inhomogeneous Kitaev chain in a microwave cavity. The chain consists of two topologically nontrivial regions separated by a topologically trivial, gapped region. The Majorana bound states at the interfaces between the left (right) regions and the central region are coupled, and their energies are split by virtual cotunneling processes. The amplitude for these cotunneling processes decreases exponentially with the number of sites of the gapped region, and the decay length diverges as the gap of the topologically trivial region closes. We demonstrate that microwave radiation can exponentially enhance the coupling between the Majorana bound states, both for classical and quantized electric fields. By solving the appropriate Liouville equation numerically, we show that microwaves can drive Rabi oscillations in the Majorana sector. Our model emerges as an effective description of a topological semiconductor nanowire in a microwave cavity. Thus, our proposal provides an experimentally feasible way to obtain full single-qubit control necessary for universal quantum computation with Majorana qubits.

9.  Strong-coupling effects in dissipatively coupled optomechanical systems
Talitha Weiss, Christoph Bruder, and Andreas Nunnenkamp.
New J. Phys. 15, 045017 (2013); arXiv:1211.7029.

In this paper we study cavity optomechanical systems in which the position of a mechanical oscillator modulates both the resonance frequency (dispersive coupling) and the linewidth (dissipative coupling) of a cavity mode. Using a quantum noise approach we calculate the optical damping and the optically-induced frequency shift. We find that dissipatively coupled systems feature two parameter regions providing amplification and two parameter regions providing cooling. To investigate the strong-coupling regime, we solve the linearized equations of motion exactly and calculate the mechanical and optical spectra. In addition to signatures of normal-mode splitting that are similar to the case of purely dispersive coupling, the spectra contain a striking feature that we trace back to the Fano line shape of the force spectrum. Finally, we show that purely dissipative coupling can lead to optomechanically-induced transparency which will provide an experimentally convenient way to observe normal-mode splitting.

10.  Majorana qubit rotations in microwave cavities
Thomas L. Schmidt, Andreas Nunnenkamp, and Christoph Bruder.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 107006 (2013); arXiv:1211.2201.

Majorana bound states have been proposed as building blocks for qubits on which certain operations can be performed in a topologically protected way using braiding. However, the set of these protected operations is not sufficient to realize universal quantum computing. We show that the electric field in a microwave cavity can induce Rabi oscillations between adjacent Majorana bound states. These oscillations can be used to implement an additional single-qubit gate. Supplemented with one braiding operation, this gate allows to perform arbitrary single-qubit operations.

11.  Mean-Field Analysis of Spinor Bosons in Optical Superlattices
Andreas Wagner, Andreas Nunnenkamp, and Christoph Bruder.
Phys. Rev. A 86, 023624 (2012); arXiv:1207.2911.

We study the ground-state phase diagram of spinless and spin-1 bosons in optical superlattices using a Bose-Hubbard Hamiltonian that includes spin-dependent interactions. We decouple the unit cells of the superlattice via a mean-field approach and take into account the dynamics within the unit cell exactly. The system supports Mott-insulating as well as superfluid phases. The transitions between these phases are second order for spinless bosons and second or first order for spin-1 bosons. Antiferromagnetic interactions energetically penalize high-spin configurations and elongate all Mott lobes, especially the ones corresponding to an even atom number on each lattice site. We find that the quadratic Zeeman effect lifts the degeneracy between different polar superfluid phases leading to additional metastable phases and first-order phase transitions. Finally, we show that an energy offset between the two sites of the unit cell induces a staircase of single-atom tunneling resonances, which surprisingly survives well into the superfluid regime.

12.  Cooling in the single-photon strong-coupling regime of cavity optomechanics
A. Nunnenkamp, K. Borkje, and S. M. Girvin.
Phys. Rev. A 85, 051803(R) (2012); arXiv:1202.3263.

In this Rapid Communication we discuss how red-sideband cooling is modified in the single-photon strong-coupling regime of cavity optomechanics where the radiation pressure of a single photon displaces the mechanical oscillator by more than its zero-point uncertainty. Using Fermi's golden rule we calculate the transition rates induced by the optical drive without linearizing the optomechanical interaction. In the resolved-sideband limit we find multiple-phonon cooling resonances for strong single-photon coupling that lead to nonthermal steady states including the possibility of phonon antibunching. Our study generalizes the standard linear cooling theory.

13.  Synthetic gauge fields and homodyne transmission in Jaynes-Cummings lattices
A. Nunnenkamp, Jens Koch, and S. M. Girvin.
New J. Phys. 13, 095008 (2011); arXiv:1105.1817.

Many-body physics is traditionally concerned with systems of interacting massive particles. Recent studies of effective interactions between photons, induced in the circuit QED architecture by coupling the microwave field to superconducting qubits, have paved the way for photon-based many-body physics. We derive the magnitude and intrinsic signs of photon hopping amplitudes in such circuit QED arrays. For a finite, ring-shaped Jaynes-Cummings lattice exposed to a synthetic gauge field we show that degeneracies in the single-excitation spectrum emerge, which can give rise to strong correlations for the interacting system with multiple excitations. We calculate the homodyne transmission for such a device, explain the generalization of vacuum Rabi splittings known for the single-site Jaynes-Cummings model, and identify fingerprints of interactions beyond the linear response regime.

14.  Single-photon Optomechanics
A. Nunnenkamp, K. Borkje, and S. M. Girvin.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 063602 (2011); arXiv:1103.2788.

Optomechanics experiments are rapidly approaching the regime where the radiation pressure of a single photon displaces the mechanical oscillator by more than its zero-point uncertainty. We show that in this limit the power spectrum has multiple sidebands and that the cavity response has several resonances in the resolved-sideband limit. Using master-equation simulations, we also study the crossover from the weak-coupling many-photon to the single-photon strong-coupling regime. Finally, we find non-Gaussian steady states of the mechanical oscillator when multiphoton transitions are resonant. Our study provides the tools to detect and take advantage of this novel regime of optomechanics.

15.  Proposal for entangling remote micromechanical oscillators via optical measurements
K. Borkje, A. Nunnenkamp, and S. M. Girvin.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 123601 (2011); arXiv:1103.2368.

We propose an experiment to create and verify entanglement between remote mechanical objects by use of an optomechanical interferometer. Two optical cavities, each coupled to a separate mechanical oscillator, are coherently driven such that the oscillators are laser cooled to the quantum regime. The entanglement is induced by optical measurement and comes about by combining the output from the two cavities to erase which-path information. It can be verified through measurements of degrees of second-order coherence of the optical output field. The experiment is feasible in the regime of weak optomechanical coupling. Realistic parameters for the membrane-in-the-middle geometry suggest entangled state lifetimes on the order of milliseconds.

16.  Superposition states of ultracold bosons in rotating rings with a weak potential barrier
Andreas Nunnenkamp, Ana Maria Rey, and Keith Burnett.
Phys. Rev. A 84, 053604 (2011); arXiv:1011.3444.

In a recent paper [Phys. Rev. A 82 063623 (2010)] Hallwood et al. argued that it is feasible to create large superposition states with strongly interacting bosons in rotating rings. Here we investigate in detail how the superposition states in rotating-ring lattices depend on interaction strength and barrier height. With respect to the latter we find a trade-off between energy gap and quality of the superposition state. Most importantly, we go beyond the delta-function approximation for the barrier potential and show that the energy gap decreases exponentially with the number of particles for weak barrier potentials of finite width. These are crucial issues in the design of experiments to realize superposition states.

17.  Observability of radiation pressure shot noise in optomechanical systems
K. Borkje, A. Nunnenkamp, B. M. Zwickl, C. Yang, J. G. E. Harris, and S. M. Girvin.
Phys. Rev. A 82, 013818 (2010); arXiv:1004.3587.

We present a theoretical study of an experiment designed to detect radiation pressure shot noise in an optomechanical system. Our model consists of a coherently driven optical cavity mode that is coupled to a mechanical oscillator. We examine the cross-correlation between two quadratures of the output field from the cavity. We determine under which circumstances radiation pressure shot noise can be detected by a measurement of this cross-correlation. This is done in the general case of nonzero detuning between the frequency of the drive and the cavity resonance frequency. We study the qualitative features of the different contributions to the cross-correlator and provide quantitative figures of merit for the relative importance of the radiation pressure shot noise contribution to other contributions. We also propose a modified setup of this experiment relevant to the "membrane-in-the-middle" geometry, which potentially can avoid the problems of static bistability and classical noise in the drive.

18.  Cooling and squeezing via quadratic optomechanical coupling
A. Nunnenkamp, K. Borkje, J. G. E. Harris, and S. M. Girvin.
Phys. Rev. A 82, 021806(R) (2010); arXiv:1004.2510.

We explore the physics of optomechanical systems in which an optical cavity mode is coupled parametrically to the square of the position of a mechanical oscillator. We derive an effective master equation describing two-phonon cooling of the mechanical oscillator. We show that for high temperatures and weak coupling, the steady-state phonon number distribution is non-thermal (Gaussian) and that even for strong cooling the mean phonon number remains finite. Moreover, we demonstrate how to achieve mechanical squeezing by driving the cavity with two beams. Finally, we calculate the optical output and squeezing spectra. Implications for optomechanics experiments with the membrane-in-the-middle geometry or ultracold atoms in optical resonators are discussed.

19.  Strong correlations in quantum vortex nucleation of ultracold atomic gases
Andreas Nunnenkamp, Ana Maria Rey, and Keith Burnett.
Proc. R. Soc. A (2010) 466, 1247-1263; arXiv:0911.4487.

We review some recent developments in the theory of rotating atomic gases. These studies have thrown light on the process of nucleation of vortices in regimes where mean-field methods are inadequate. In our review we shall describe and compare quantum vortex nucleation of a dilute ultracold bosonic gas trapped in three different configurations: a one-dimensional ring lattice, a one-dimensional ring superlattice and a two-dimensional asymmetric harmonic trap. In all of them there is a critical rotation frequency, at which the particles in the ground state exhibit strong quantum correlations. However, the entanglement properties vary significantly from case to case. We explain these differences by characterizing the intermediate states that participate in the vortex nucleation process. Finally, we show that noise correlations are sensitive to these differences. These new studies have, therefore, shown how novel quantum states may be produced and probed in future experiments with rotating neutral atom systems.

20.  Entanglement Metrology Using a Joint Readout of Superconducting Qubits
J. M. Chow, L. DiCarlo, J. M. Gambetta, A. Nunnenkamp, Lev S. Bishop, L. Frunzio, M. H. Devoret, S. M. Girvin, and R. J. Schoelkopf.
Phys. Rev. A 81, 062325 (2010); arXiv:0908.1955.

Accurate and precise detection of multi-qubit entanglement is key for the experimental development of quantum computation. Traditionally, non-classical correlations between entangled qubits are measured by counting coincidences between single-shot readouts of individual qubits. We report entanglement metrology using a single detection channel with direct access to ensemble-averaged correlations between two superconducting qubits. Following validation and calibration of this joint readout, we demonstrate full quantum tomography on both separable and highly-entangled two-qubit states produced on demand. Using a subset of the measurements required for full tomography, we perform entanglement metrology with ~95% accuracy and ~98% precision despite ~10% fidelity of single measurements. For the highly entangled states, measured Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt operators reach a maximum value of 2.61+/-0.04 and entanglement witnesses give a lower bound of ~88% on concurrence. In its present form, this detector will be able to resolve future improvements in the production of two-qubit entanglement and is immediately extendable to 3 or 4 qubits.

21.  Proposal for generating and detecting multi-qubit GHZ states in circuit QED
Lev S. Bishop, L. Tornberg, D. Price, E. Ginossar, A. Nunnenkamp, A. A. Houck, J. M. Gambetta, Jens Koch, G. Johansson, S. M. Girvin, and R. J. Schoelkopf.
New J. Phys. 11, 073040 (2009); arXiv:0902.0324.

We propose methods for the preparation and entanglement detection of multi-qubit GHZ states in circuit quantum electrodynamics. Using quantum trajectory simulations appropriate for the situation of a weak continuous measurement, we show that the joint dispersive readout of several qubits can be utilized for the probabilistic production of high-fidelity GHZ states. When employing a nonlinear filter on the recorded homodyne signal, the selected states are found to exhibit values of the Bell-Mermin operator exceeding 2 under realistic conditions. We discuss the potential of the dispersive readout to demonstrate a violation of the Mermin bound, and present a measurement scheme avoiding the necessity for full detector tomography.

22.  Macroscopic superposition states in rotating ring lattices
Andreas Nunnenkamp and Ana Maria Rey.
Journal of Modern Optics 55, 3339 (2008); arXiv:0802.4309.

We investigate the effects of rotation on one-dimensional ultracold bosons confined to optical ring lattices. First, we show that there exists a critical rotation frequency at which the ground state of a weakly-interacting and integer-filled atomic gas is fragmented into a macroscopic superposition state with different circulation. Second, we point out several advantages of using slightly non-uniform ring lattices. Finally, we demonstrate that different quasi-momentum states can be distinguished in time-of-flight absorption imaging and propose to probe correlations via the many-body oscillations induced by a sudden change in the rotation frequency.

23.  Generation of macroscopic superposition states in ring superlattices
Andreas Nunnenkamp, Ana Maria Rey, and Keith Burnett.
Phys. Rev. A 77, 023622 (2008); arXiv:0711.3831.

Ultracold bosons in rotating ring lattices have previously been shown to form macroscopic superpositions of different quasi-momentum states. We demonstrate that the generation of such kind of states using slightly non-uniform ring lattices has several advantages: the energy gap decreases less severely with the number of particles, the sensitivity to detunings from the critical rotation frequency is reduced, and the scheme is not limited to commensurate filling. We show that different quasi-momentum states can be distinguished in time-of-flight absorption imaging and propose to probe correlations via the many-body oscillations induced by a sudden change in the rotation frequency.

24.  Creation of resilient entangled states and a resource for measurement-based quantum computation with optical superlattices
B. Vaucher, A. Nunnenkamp, and D. Jaksch.
New J. Phys. 10, 023005 (2008); arXiv:0710.5099.

We investigate how to create entangled states of ultracold atoms trapped in optical lattices by dynamically manipulating the shape of the lattice potential. We consider an additional potential (the superlattice) that allows both the splitting of each site into a double well potential, and the control of the height of potential barrier between sites. We use superlattice manipulations to perform entangling operations between neighbouring qubits encoded on the Zeeman levels of the atoms without having to perform transfers between the different vibrational states of the atoms. We show how to use superlattices to engineer many-body entangled states resilient to collective dephasing noise. Also, we present a method to realize a 2D resource for measurement-based quantum computing via Bell-pair measurements. We analyze measurement networks that allow the execution of quantum algorithms while maintaining the resilience properties of the system throughout the computation.

25.  Classical field techniques for condensates in one-dimensional rings at finite temperatures
A. Nunnenkamp, J. N. Milstein, and K. Burnett.
Phys. Rev. A 75, 033604 (2007); cond-mat/0611645.

For a condensate in a one-dimensional ring geometry, we compare the thermodynamic properties of three conceptually different classical field techniques: stochastic dynamics, microcanonical molecular dynamics, and the classical field method. Starting from non-equilibrium initial conditions, all three methods approach steady states whose distribution and correlation functions are in excellent agreement with an exact evaluation of the partition function in the high-temperature limit. Our study helps to establish these various classical field techniques as powerful non-perturbative tools for systems at finite temperatures.

26.  Full counting statistics of heteronuclear molecules from Feshbach-assisted photo association
A. Nunnenkamp, D. Meiser, and P. Meystre.
New J. Phys. 8, 88 (2006); cond-mat/0508080.

We study the effects of quantum statistics on the counting statistics of ultracold heteronuclear molecules formed by Feshbach-assisted photoassociation [Phys. Rev. Lett. {\bf 93}, 140405 (2004)]. Exploiting the formal similarities with sum frequency generation and using quantum optics methods we consider the cases where the molecules are formed from atoms out of two Bose-Einstein condensates, out of a Bose-Einstein condensate and a gas of degenerate fermions, and out of two degenerate Fermi gases with and without superfluidity. Bosons are treated in a single mode approximation and fermions in a degenerate model. In these approximations we can numerically solve the master equations describing the system's dynamics and thus we find the full counting statistics of the molecular modes. The full quantum dynamics calculations are complemented by mean field calculations and short time perturbative expansions. While the molecule production rates are very similar in all three cases at this level of approximation, differences show up in the counting statistics of the molecular fields. The intermediate field of closed-channel molecules is for short times second-order coherent if the molecules are formed from two Bose-Einstein condensates or a Bose-Fermi mixture. They show counting statistics similar to a thermal field if formed from two normal Fermi gases. The coherence properties of molecule formation in two superfluid Fermi gases are intermediate between the two previous cases. In all cases the final field of deeply-bound molecules is found to be twice as noisy as that of the intermediate state. This is a consequence of its coupling to the lossy optical cavity in our model, which acts as an input port for quantum noise, much like the situation in an optical beam splitter.