As a field of study, quantum metrology aims to improve measurement precision by utilizing the principles of quantum mechanics. With high-precision measurements, such as length, time, frequency, and temperature, physical quantities can often be measured far beyond what is classically possible.
What is Quantum Metrology & what are the Benefits?
To increase the sensitivity and accuracy of measurements, quantum metrology makes use of the properties of the quantum system, such as entanglement and superposition. For example, it is possible to estimate physical quantities more precisely using entangled states rather than classical states.
Many applications of quantum metrology — which we will discuss in more detail in a moment — can be found in fields such as navigation, communications, and medicine. Among the applications of atomic clocks include GPS navigation and satellite communications, which can be used to develop more accurate clocks. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can also benefit from it, as its sensitivity and resolution can be increased.
What are the Applications of Quantum Metrology?
We will now briefly describe three important applications in which quantum metrology will play an important role.
Gravity Wave Detection
Spacetime is oscillated by gravitational waves, and their detection requires extremely precise measurements. Using quantum metrology, gravitational wave detectors can be made more sensitive, enabling the detection of weaker signals and new methods for studying the universe.
From GPS navigation to telecommunications, atomic clocks are some of the most precise clocks known to mankind. Precise atomic vibrations are used in atomic clocks to keep time, and quantum metrology plays an important role in measuring these vibrations.
In terms of resolution and detail, quantum sensors can produce images we’ve never seen before. As part of quantum optics, quantum imaging uses quantum correlations such as quantum entanglement of the electromagnetic field to image objects beyond the resolution and other imaging criteria possible in classical optics.
Several Quantum Metrology Companies
Several companies specialize in quantum metrology—here are a few:
1. Apogee Instruments
Dr. Bruce Bugbee, a professor of plant physiology at Utah State University, started Apogee Instruments in 1996. Its innovative, durable, and accurate environmental instruments have made it a respected leader in the industry.
Founded in Singapore, Atomionics is a startup building quantum sensors for use in navigation and resource exploration. Atomionic atomic sensors are capable of creating complete underground maps, helping to locate tunnels and bunkers, predicting earthquakes, providing precise navigation, and building universal positioning systems that work anywhere — underground, underwater, and even in outer space.
The core technology is based on cold atom interferometry, which involves shooting lasers at atoms to cool them to micro-Kelvin temperatures.
3. GEMS system
In addition to magnetometers, gradiometers, and magnetic sensors for Earth Sciences, Geophysics, and other applications, GEM’s Advanced Magnetometer — based in Ontario, Canada — offers a wide range of magnetic sensors.
GEM develops advanced quantum magnetometer technologies, such as Overhauser, optically pumped Potassium (K-Mag), and proton precession magnetometers.
In a quantum magnetometer, subatomic particles (the nucleus and unpaired valence electrons) are used to measure spin. It is possible to translate the resulting precession frequency directly into magnetic field units. In contrast to vector results (e.g. from fluxgate geophysical instruments or GEM’s Deferred dIdD technology), quantum results are scalars (total field intensity).
Based in Vaud, Switzerland, Miraex designs, manufactures and provides photonic computing and quantum sensing systems for industrial applications. The company’s industrial sensing solutions prevent asset failure before it happens, even in extreme environments where standard electronic sensors are ineffective.
Miraex also builds quantum integrated circuits for high-sensitivity measurements and distributed quantum computing networks.
Muquans is focused on building high-precision quantum measurements and its mission is to provide reliable, high-value scientific instruments in areas such as geophysics, metrology, time and frequency dispersion, and research-grade laser optics.
Based in Talence, France, Muqauns has developed unique scientific and technological expertise as a spin-off of the Observatoire de Paris (LNE-SYRTE) and the Institut d’Optique (LP2N) in France, where its core technologies have been studied for over 15 years. . .
6. The Wandering Atom
Using quantum sensors, Nomad Atomics transforms mining, underground resources and navigation, specializing in a range of quantum sensors, from magnetometers to gravimeters to clocks.
The company is based in Canberra, Australia.
Based in Park Ridge, Illinois, Nucrypt manufactures photonic instrumentation, including quantum entanglement generation, distribution, and measurement systems and specializes in building customized photonic equipment, whether for use in the laboratory or in the field.
A pressure sensing solutions company, North Yorkshire, UK based Peratech offers its proprietary QTC® technology to some of the most innovative and exciting companies in the mobile, automotive, industrial, robotics, electronic equipment, consumer electronics and health/sports diagnostics fields for a fee. – Effective, mass-produced, next-generation touch solution.
QTC® stands for “Quantum Tunneling Composite”. Peratech’s patents relate to formulations and manufacturing processes that promote quantum tunneling.
Through a Tuneable Diode Lidar (TDLidar) gas detection and imaging system based on infrared single photon detection, QLM assists gas sensing in the oil and gas industry.
With QLM’s research-based technology, natural gas manufacturers, distributors, and service providers can identify and monitor gas leaks quickly, accurately, and at a low cost.
Qnami developed fundamentally new technologies through the control and measurement of electron states, now being able to measure things that were not possible before.
The Qnami ProteusQ is a complete quantum microscopy system. It is the first NV (nitrogen vaccum) scanning microscope for the analysis of magnetic materials at the atomic scale. Using the Qnami ProteusQ quantum technology, it is possible to see the most subtle properties of your sample in real time and how microscopic changes in the design or fabrication process affect it.
The company’s headquarters are in Muttenz, Switzerland.
11. How much
Shine Bright Quantum is developing quantum magnets for Earth and outer space. To better understand and navigate the environment, his team used magnetic intelligence to build a precise, localized magnetic model of Earth. By using a quantum magnetometer, we can measure magnetic resonance lines with greater specificity.
The SBQuantum solution is powered by a state-of-the-art quantum magnetometer sensor. With the nitrogen vacancy diamond, the company has engineered a compact form using its quantum properties, ensuring high sensitivity in vector analysis while remaining durable, power efficient and not requiring careful orientation.
The company is based in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.
12. Single Quantum
The Netherlands-based Delft, Netherlands-based Single Quantum manufacturer of superconducting single photon detectors was founded in 2012 with the mission to make even the most demanding optical applications possible by providing the best possible photon detection.
More than 80 academic and industrial laboratories worldwide have selected our multichannel detection systems to perform complex optical measurements. SBQuantum offers a combination of detection efficiency and time resolution that makes its superconducting detectors a good choice for quantum communications, cryptography, infrared fluorescence spectroscopy and laser rangefinding.
Why is Quantum Metrology Important?
The field of quantum metrology (and metrology in general) has a huge impact on human life every day. We rely on metrology for measurement results in a number of important areas, including trade, health, safety, environmental monitoring, food safety, protection of consumer rights and law enforcement.
However, our measuring tools are often taken for granted, and we fail to realize how important they are. Because we are surrounded by measurement and so used to it, we tend to overlook — or at least underestimate — its significance.
Our measurement tools are only fully appreciated, unfortunately, when they fail or are not available.
Although quantum metrology has undergone a large amount of research in recent years, scientists still view it as an unstudied field. Quantum metrology research — as reviewed here — currently focuses on defining limits and their applications in various fields, including imaging and measurement, and the promise of more accurate measuring devices has made quantum metrology an area of interest in quantum physics.
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