As quantum technology continues to come into its own, investment is happening on a global scale. Soon, we could see improvements in machine learning models, financial risk assessment, efficiency of chemical catalysts and the discovery of new medications.
As numerous scientists, companies and governments rush to invest in the new era of quantum technology, a crucial piece of this wave of innovation is the quantum sensor. Improving these devices could mean more powerful computers, better detectors of disease and technological advances scientists can’t even predict yet.
A scientific study from the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering published Oct. 17 in Nature Communications could have exciting implications for the developing world of quantum sensing—and quantum technology as a whole.
“We took a recently proposed idea to make better optical classical sensors and asked whether the same idea would work in a quantum setting,” said Aashish Clerk, one of the study’s authors and a professor at the Institute for Molecular Engineering. “We found that this idea doesn’t really work in quantum settings, but that another somewhat related approach could give you a huge advantage.”
In a quantum setting, optical sensors are typically limited because light is made up of particles, and this discreteness leads to unavoidable noise. But this study revealed an unexpected method to combat that limitation.
“We think we’ve uncovered a new strategy for building extremely powerful quantum sensors,” Clerk continued.