Using the Environment to Control Quantum Devices
(EurekaAlert) Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) researchers have uncovered how the environment can impact highly sensitive quantum behavious like localization. Their findings could lead to future innovations in the design of superconducting materials and quantum devices, including super precise sensors.
Quantum technology, in particular quantum sensing, promises to measure and capture our world at levels of precision never before possible. Such precision has diverse applications, from speedier and more sensitive medical imaging to recording time on high-frequency market trades, and even the development of sensors that can determine whether the ground beneath us is solid rock or a natural oil-and-gas reservoir.
One considerable practical challenge remains when producing quantum measuring devices: controlling how they respond to the environment. Real devices are extremely sensitive to noise, which at best reduces their level of precision and at worst leads to unacceptable levels of error. When it comes to crafting ultra-precise sensors, such noise could overwhelm any useful signals.
Understanding how quantum devices respond to noise would help researchers find new ways to protect them from noise, making novel measurement and sensing technologies more feasible. Beyond increasing their accuracy, researchers may even be able to give quantum devices new properties. “If you could tune the amount of noise that these devices experience, you can make them function very differently and get an even more interesting device,” explained Associate Professor Dario Poletti from SUTD, who led the study.
“There are already quantum devices out there, and we will likely see more and more of them,” Poletti said. “Devices are never truly isolated from their environments, so we would like to better understand how they can work in conjunction with the environment.”
“Now the quest is to dig deeper and look for different systems, or go towards real materials and see what else can happen there,” he added. “This kind of research is done over many years. We’re trying to build fundamental knowledge and tools so that eventually, industry can take over.”