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Recent advances in micro- and nanofabrication techniques have led to corresponding improvement in the performance of optomechanical systems, which provide a promising avenue towards quantum-limited metrology and the study of quantum behavior in macroscopic mechanical objects. One major impediment to reaching the quantum regime is thermal excitation, which can be overcome for a sufficiently high mechanical quality factor Q. Here, we propose a method for increasing the effective Q of a mechanical resonator by stiffening it via the optical spring effect exhibited by linear optomechanical systems and show how the associated quantum-radiation-pressure noise can be evaded by sensing and feedback control. In a parameter regime that is attainable with current technology, this method allows for realistic quantum cavity optomechanics in a frequency band well below that which has been realized thus far. © 2013 American Physical Society.

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Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics