Seeing quantum motion; even one day ripples in the fabric of space-time?

California Institute of Technology

But we know that even at the quantum ground state, at zero-temperature, very small amplitude fluctuations–or noise–remain. Because this quantum motion, or noise, is theoretically an intrinsic part of the motion of all objects, Schwab and his colleagues designed a device that would allow them to observe this noise and then manipulate it. According to the laws of classical mechanics, the vibrating structures eventually will come to a complete rest if cooled to the ground state. Because this noisy quantum motion is always present and cannot be removed, it places a fundamental limit on how precisely one can measure the position of an object. The researchers and collaborators developed a technique to manipulate the inherent quantum noise and found that it is possible to reduce it periodically.

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