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Physics  2007 

Quantum-noise-limited Angular Momentum Measurement for a Micron-sized Dielectric Object

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An approach is described for observing quantum features of micron-sized spinning objects. Specifically, we consider a birefringent (uniaxial positive) dielectric object in the shape of an oblate (i.e., frisbee-like) symmetric top. It can be trapped in the air, its extraordinary axis can be aligned, and its angular momentum along the extraordinary axis can be stabilized, all optically. We show that the angular momentum quantum noise of the object perpendicular to the gigantic angular momentum along the extraordinary axis can be measured as a linear birefringent phase shift of a probe laser in an analogous fashion to the spin quantum nondemolition (QND) measurement in atomic physics.


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