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Keywords:

  • Quantum optomechanics;
  • hybrid optomechanical system;
  • laser cooling;
  • sideband cooling;
  • radiation pressure;
  • optical damping;
  • optical spring effect;
  • decoherence;
  • quantum measurement;
  • quantum state transfer;
  • dynamical back-action;
  • mechanical squeezing

This paper gives a brief review of the basic physics of quantum optomechanics and provides an overview of some of its recent developments and current areas of focus. It first outlines the basic theory of cavity optomechanical cooling and gives a brief status report of the experimental state-of-the-art. It then turns to the deep quantum regime of operation of optomechanical oscillators and covers selected aspects of quantum state preparation, control and characterization, including mechanical squeezing and pulsed optomechanics. This is followed by a discussion of the “bottom-up” approach that exploits ultracold atomic samples instead of nanoscale systems. It concludes with an outlook that concentrates largely on the functionalization of quantum optomechanical systems and their promise in metrology applications.