Authors: Kartikeya Rambhatla, Simone Evaldo D’Aurelio, Mauro Valeri, Emanuele Polino, Nicolò Spagnolo and Fabio Sciarrino
Year: 2020

Quantum metrology is one of the most relevant applications of quantum information theory to quantum technologies. Here, quantum probes are exploited to overcome classical bounds in the estimation of unknown parameters. In this context, phase estimation, where the unknown parameter is a phase shift between two modes of a quantum system, is a fundamental problem. In practical and realistic applications, it is necessary to devise methods to optimally estimate an unknown phase shift by using a limited number of probes. Here we introduce and experimentally demonstrate a machine learning-based approach for the adaptive estimation of a phase shift in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, tailored for optimal performances with limited resources. The employed technique is a genetic algorithm used to devise the optimal feedback phases employed during the estimation in an offline fashion. The results show the capability to retrieve the true value of the phase by using few photons, and to reach the sensitivity bounds in such small probe regime. We finally investigate the robustness of the protocol with respect to common experimental errors, showing that the protocol can be adapted to a noisy scenario. Such approach promises to be a useful tool for more complex and general tasks where optimization of feedback parameters is required.

Published in Physical Review Research

Authors: Emanuele Polino, Mauro Valeri, Nicolò Spagnolo and Fabio Sciarrino
Year: 2020

Quantum Metrology is one of the most promising application of quantum technologies. The aim of this research field is the estimation of unknown parameters exploiting quantum resources, whose application can lead to enhanced performances with respect to classical strategies. Several physical quantum systems can be employed to develop quantum sensors, and photonic systems represent ideal probes for a large number of metrological tasks. Here we review the basic concepts behind quantum metrology and then focus on the application of photonic technology for this task, with particular attention to phase estimation. We describe the current state of the art in the field in terms of platforms and quantum resources. Furthermore, we present the research area of multiparameter quantum metrology, where multiple parameters have to be estimated at the same time. We conclude by discussing the current experimental and theoretical challenges, and the open questions towards implementation of photonic quantum sensors with quantum-enhanced performances in the presence of noise.