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Sensing & Metrology

Quantum imaging devices can greatly improve imaging technologies.

Superposition states are naturally very sensitive to the environment and can therefore be used to make very accurate sensors. As a result of steady progress in material quality and control, cost reduction and the miniaturisation of components such as lasers, these devices are now ready to be carried over into numerous commercial applications. Solid-state quantum sensors, such as NV centres in diamond, have been shown to be useful for measuring very small magnetic fields.

Artistic depiction of a spin based quantum sensor for unravelling structure of single biomolecules.

Artistic depiction of a spin based quantum sensor for unravelling structure of single biomolecules.

This in turn may help with multiple applications, ranging from biosensors to magnetic resonance imaging and the detection of defects in metals. Superconducting quantum interference devices are one example of an early quantum technology now in widespread use, in fields as diverse as brain imaging and particle detection.

Quantum imaging devices use entangled light to extract more information from light during imaging. This can greatly improve imaging technologies by, for example, allowing higher resolution images through the use of squeezed light or creating the ability to produce an image by measuring one single photon which is entangled with a second, differently coloured and entangled photon that is being used to probe a sample. Atomic and molecular interferometer devices use superposition to measure acceleration and rotation very precisely. These acceleration and rotation signals can be processed to enable inertial navigation devices to navigate below ground or within buildings. Such devices can also be used to measure very small changes in gravitational fields, magnetic fields, time or fundamental physical constants.


For more information on Quantum Sensing and Metrology, check out the topics below or the hand-picked educational videos in our Quantum Playlist.