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OPTIMAL AND SECURE MEASUREMENT PROTOCOLS FOR QUANTUM SENSOR NETWORKS

This new invention is a protocol that optimally uses quantum entanglement in a network of quantum sensors to optimally measure any desired linear combination of the fields at the sensors. This is the first protocol for using entanglement to improve measurements done by distributed quantum sensor networks. The protocol works by distributing a specific entangled state (a multi-particle GHZ state) across the network of sensors, then local pulses are used to dial the specific desired linear combination of the fields, and finally local measurements are used to read out the desired linear combination. This protocol is optimal (i.e.  best possible allowed by quantum mechanics) and secure (against eavesdroppers compromising some of the sensors).

Abstract: 

This is a protocol that optimally uses quantum entanglement in a network of quantum sensors to optimally measure any desired linear combination of the fields at the sensors. This has a huge number of potential applications from geodesy and geophysics (like earthquake or volcano eruption prediction) to biology and medicine (the sensors can all be separated by small distances and measure temperature, magnetic fields, electric fields, or a host of other things inside a human body). This protocol optimally uses entanglement to enhance magnetoencephalography (MEG), which uses superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) or atomic sensors to image brain magnetic fields.

Benefits: 

Currently, no distributed sensor uses entanglement. This is the first theoretical proposal to use entanglement in a distributed quantum sensor. The superiority of our protocol is that the desired measurement will be performed in the fastest possible time allowed by quantum mechanics. Specifically, the proposed protocol will be Sqrt[N] times faster (for achieving desired precision) than an entanglement-free protocol, where N is the number of sensors. Equivalently, for a fixed time, our protocol yields a measurement uncertainty that is Sqrt[N] times smaller than the entanglement-free protocol. Quantum sensors are now getting more and more popular as magnetometers, electrometers, gravimeters, thermometers, accelerometers, etc. This technology will be useful whenever one is interested in measuring properties of inhomogeneous fields. This has a huge number of potential applications from geodesy and geophysics (like earthquake or volcano eruption prediction) to biology and medicine (the sensors can all be separated by small distances and measure temperature, magnetic fields, electric fields, or a host of other things inside a human body).

Inventors: 
Steven Rolston, Zachary Eldredge, Michael Foss-Feig, and Alexey Gorshkov
Patent Number: 
10,007,885
Technology Type(s): 
Manufacturing, Health Care, Electromagnetic, Nanometrology, Nanotechnology, Precision Measurement, Quantum Physics
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
17-004
Patent Issue Date: 
June 26, 2018
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