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Sci Rep. 2014 May 22;4:4996. doi: 10.1038/srep04996.

Relativistic quantum metrology: exploiting relativity to improve quantum measurement technologies.

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School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, United Kingdom.
School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.


We present a framework for relativistic quantum metrology that is useful for both Earth-based and space-based technologies. Quantum metrology has been so far successfully applied to design precision instruments such as clocks and sensors which outperform classical devices by exploiting quantum properties. There are advanced plans to implement these and other quantum technologies in space, for instance Space-QUEST and Space Optical Clock projects intend to implement quantum communications and quantum clocks at regimes where relativity starts to kick in. However, typical setups do not take into account the effects of relativity on quantum properties. To include and exploit these effects, we introduce techniques for the application of metrology to quantum field theory. Quantum field theory properly incorporates quantum theory and relativity, in particular, at regimes where space-based experiments take place. This framework allows for high precision estimation of parameters that appear in quantum field theory including proper times and accelerations. Indeed, the techniques can be applied to develop a novel generation of relativistic quantum technologies for gravimeters, clocks and sensors. As an example, we present a high precision device which in principle improves the state-of-the-art in quantum accelerometers by exploiting relativistic effects.

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