Nanomechanical systems generally contain a resonator whose mechanical motion is translated into an electronic or optical signal.
Since the resonance frequency reacts very sensitively to external perturbations, these system allow the construction of measurement devices for, e.g., charge, mass, and force.
Another topic of interest is the backaction of the electronic or optical read-out device on the resonator. It turns out that for suitable coupling, the measurement can cause
a strong backaction on the resonator, thus making it possible to control its motion. This can be exploited, e.g., to cool the resonator to very low temperatures in order to
bring it to the quantum regime.
Recently, there has been growing interest in bringing mechanical systems to quantum states, e.g., Fock states or superpositions. One of the long-term goals of this type of research is to develop a better
understanding of the transition between classical physics and quantum mechanics.