Abstract:
Nanomechanical resonators having small mass, high resonance frequency and low damping rate are widely employed as mass detectors. We study the performances of such a detector when the resonator is driven into a region of nonlinear oscillations. We predict theoretically that in this region the system acts as a phase-sensitive mechanical amplifier. This behavior can be exploited to achieve noise squeezing in the output signal when homodyne detection is employed for readout. We show that mass sensitivity of the device in this region may exceed the upper bound imposed by thermomechanical noise upon the sensitivity when operating in the linear region. On the other hand, we show that the high mass sensitivity is accompanied by a slowing down of the response of the system to a change in the mass.

Abstract:
Two-photon loss mechanisms often accompany a Kerr nonlinearity. The kinetic inductance exhibited by superconducting transmission lines provides an example of a Kerr-like nonlinearity that is accompanied by a nonlinear resistance of the two-photon absorptive type. Such nonlinear dissipation can degrade the performance of amplifiers and mixers employing a Kerr-like nonlinearity as the gain or mixing medium. As an aid for parametric amplifier design, we provide a quantum analysis of a cavity parametric amplifier employing a Kerr nonlinearity that is accompanied by a two-photon absorptive loss. Because of their usefulness in diagnostics, we obtain expressions for the pump amplitude within the cavity, the reflection coefficient for the pump amplitude reflected off of the cavity, the parametric gain, and the intermodulation gain. Expressions by which of the degree of squeezing can be computed are also presented.

Abstract:
The nonlinearity exhibited by the kinetic inductance of a superconducting stripline couples stripline resonator modes together in a manner suitable for quantum non-demolition measurement of the number of photons in a given resonator mode. Quantum non-demolition measurement is accomplished by coherently driving another resonator mode, referred to as the detector mode, and measuring its response. We show that the sensitivity of such a detection scheme is directly related to the dephasing rate induced by such an intermode coupling. We show that high sensitivity is expected when the detector mode is driven into the nonlinear regime and operated close to a point where critical slowing down occurs.

Abstract:
We show that it is, in principle, possible to perform local realism violating experiments of the Hardy type in which only position and momentum measurements are made on two particles emanating from a common source. In the optical domain, homodyne detection of the in-phase and out-of-phase amplitude components of an electromagnetic field is analogous to position and momentum measurement. Hence, local realism violations of the Hardy type are possible in optical systems employing only homodyne detection.

Abstract:
We discuss the prospects of employing an NbN superconducting microwave stripline resonator for studying the dynamical Casimir effect experimentally. Preliminary experimental results, in which optical illumination is employed for modulating the resonance frequencies of the resonator, show that such a system is highly promising for this purpose. Moreover, we discuss the undesirable effect of heating which results from the optical illumination, and show that degradation in noise properties can be minimized by employing an appropriate design.

Abstract:
It is shown that by switching a specific time-dependent interaction between a harmonic oscillator and a transmission line (a waveguide, an optical fiber, etc.) the quantum state of the oscillator can be transferred into that of another oscillator coupled to the distant other end of the line, with a fidelity that is independent of the initial state of both oscillators. For a transfer time $T$, the fidelity approaches 1 exponentially in $\gamma T$ where $\gamma$ is a characteristic damping rate. Hence, a good fidelity is achieved even for a transfer time of a few damping times. Some implementations are discussed.

Abstract:
General quantum restrictions on the noise performance of linear transistor amplifiers are used to identify the region in parameter space where the quantum-limited performance is achievable and to construct a practical procedure for approaching it experimentally using only the knowledge of directly measurable quantities: the gain, (differential) conductance and the output noise. A specific example of resonant barrier transistors is discussed.

Abstract:
The Kubo fluctuation-dissipation theorem relates the current fluctuations of a system in an equilibrium state with the linear AC-conductance. This theorem holds also out of equilibrium provided that the system is in a stationary state and that the linear conductance is replaced by the (dynamic) conductance with respect to the non equilibrium state. We provide a simple proof for that statement and then apply it in two cases. We first show that in an excess noise measurement at zero temperature, in which the impedance matching is maintained while driving a mesoscopic sample out of equilibrium, it is the nonsymmetrized noise power spectrum which is measured, even if the bare measurement, i.e. without extracting the excess part of the noise, obtains the symmetrized noise. As a second application we derive a commutation relation for the two components of fermionic or bosonic currents which holds in every stationary state and which is a generalization of the one valid only for bosonic currents. As is usually the case, such a commutation relation can be used e.g. to derive Heisenberg uncertainty relationships among these current components.

Abstract:
Heisenberg uncertainty relations for current components impose constraints on the performance of linear amplifiers. Here we derive such constraints for amplifiers in which the input signal modulates a bias current in order to produce an amplified output. These amplifiers include transistors, macroscopic, mesoscopic, or molecular, operated as linear amplifiers.

Abstract:
We derive quantum constraints on the minimal amount of noise added in linear amplification involving input or output signals whose component operators do not necessarily have c-number commutators, as is the case for fermion currents. This is a generalization of constraints derived for the amplification of bosonic fields whose components posses c-number commutators.