Nonlinear vibrations are attracting interest in many areas, from nanomechanics to circuit and cavity QED to Josephson junctions, with applications ranging from mass sensing to quantum measurements. They also allow one to address a fairly general problem of quantum fluctuations in systems away from thermal equilibrium. We will show that these fluctuations display unusual features, including the mechanism of switching between coexisting stable states of forced vibrations that has no analog in equilibrium systems. We call it quantum activation. It limits the precision of quantum measurements with oscillators. The scaling behavior of the switching rates will be outlined and a comparison with experiment will be made.Faculty Host: Stephen Teitsworth
Coffee and cookies before the presentation at 3:15 pm, and refreshments after the presentation will both be served in Room 128.