Quantum sensors can measure extremely small changes in an environment by taking advantage of quantum phenomena like entanglement, where entangled particles can affect each other, even when separated by great distances.
Researchers ultimately hope to create and use these sensors to detect and diagnose disease, predict volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, or explore underground without digging.
In pursuit of that goal, theoretical researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago have found a way to make quantum sensors exponentially more sensitive.
By harnessing a unique physics phenomenon, the researchers have calculated a way to develop a sensor that has a sensitivity that increases exponentially as it grows, without using more energy. The results were published Oct. 23 in Nature Communications.
“This could even help improve classical sensors,” said Prof. Aashish Clerk, a theoretical physicist and co-author of the paper. “It’s a way to build more efficient, powerful sensors for all kinds of applications.”