Estimation with Heisenberg-scaling sensitivity of a single parameter distributed in an arbitrary linear optical network

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Quantum sensing and quantum metrology propose schemes for the estimation of physical properties, such as lengths, time intervals, and temperatures, achieving enhanced levels of precision beyond the possibilities of classical strategies. However, such an enhanced sensitivity usually comes at a price: the use of probes in highly fragile states, the need to adaptively optimise the estimation schemes to the value of the unknown property we want to estimate, and the limited working range, are some examples of challenges which prevent quantum sensing protocols to be practical for applications. This work reviews two feasible estimation schemes which address these challenges, employing easily realisable resources, i.e., squeezed light, and achieve the desired quantum enhancement of the precision, namely the Heisenberg-scaling sensitivity. In more detail, it is here shown how to overcome, in the estimation of any parameter affecting in a distributed manner multiple components of an arbitrary M-channel linear optical network, the need to iteratively optimise the network. In particular, we show that this is possible with a single-step adaptation of the network based only on a prior knowledge of the parameter achievable through a “classical” shot-noise limited estimation strategy. Furthermore, homodyne measurements with only one detector allow us to achieve Heisenberg-limited estimation of the parameter. We further demonstrate that one can avoid the use of any auxiliary network at the price of simultaneously employing multiple detectors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2657
Number of pages33
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2022


  • quantum metrology
  • quantum sensing
  • distributed parameter
  • heisenberg limit
  • gaussian metrology
  • squeezing


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