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Physics – Extra Versatile Quantum Sensors

• Physics 15, s82

Quantum sensors can now detect alerts of arbitrary frequencies because of a quantum model of frequency mixing—a extensively used approach in electronics.

Quantum sensors use quantum phenomena, equivalent to coherence and entanglement, to measure alerts, equivalent to electrical and magnetic fields. These sensors provide excessive sensitivity and spatial decision however can solely detect fields of particular frequencies. Guoqing Wang on the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how and his colleagues have now demonstrated a technique that enables current quantum sensors to measure arbitrary-frequency fields [1]. The strategy extends the capabilities of those units and will discover purposes past quantum sensing.

One technique to allow a quantum sensor to measure an arbitrary-frequency subject is to transform the sphere’s frequency to 1 that’s accessible to the sensor. Such a conversion might be achieved by combining the sign subject with a bias subject utilizing {an electrical} circuit generally known as a frequency mixer. However this circuit can cut back the sensor’s spatial decision. Wang and his colleagues averted this drawback by as a substitute utilizing a qubit within the sensor to carry out a quantum analog of frequency mixing. When a bias subject is utilized to the qubit, the qubit converts the sign subject’s frequency to an accessible frequency. The sign subject can then be analyzed utilizing well-established sensing methods.

The brand new strategy also can distinguish the transverse and longitudinal elements of a sign subject, one thing the group demonstrated utilizing a quantum sensor based mostly on solid-state spins and a 150-MHz magnetic subject. The researchers say that their technique may additionally have makes use of in different contexts—from quantum computing to quantum communication.

–Ryan Wilkinson

Ryan Wilkinson is a contract science editor and author based mostly in Durham, UK.


  1. G. Wang et al., “Sensing of arbitrary-frequency fields utilizing a quantum mixer,” Phys. Rev. X 12, 021061 (2022).

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