Single-mode displacement sensor

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32 Citations (Scopus)


We show that one can determine both parameters of a displacement acting on an oscillator with an accuracy which scales inversely with the square root of the number of photons in the oscillator. Our results are obtained by using a grid state as a sensor state for detecting small translations in phase space (displacements). Grid states were first proposed [D. Gottesman, Phys. Rev. A 64, 012310 (2001)PLRAAN1050-294710.1103/PhysRevA.64.012310] for encoding a qubit into an oscillator: an efficient preparation protocol of such states, using a coupling to a qubit, was later developed [B. M. Terhal and D. Weigand, Phys. Rev. A 93, 012315 (2016)1050-294710.1103/PhysRevA.93.012315]. We compare the performance of the grid state with the quantum compass or cat code state and place our results in the context of the two-parameter quantum Cramér-Rao lower bound on the variances of the displacement parameters. We show that the accessible information about the displacement for a grid state increases with the number of photons in the state when we measure and prepare the state using a phase estimation protocol. This is in contrast with the accessible information in the quantum compass state which we show is always upper bounded by a constant, independent of the number of photons. We present numerical simulations of a phase estimation based preparation protocol of a grid state in the presence of photon loss, nonlinearities, and qubit measurement, using no post-selection, showing how the two effective squeezing parameters which characterize the grid state change during the preparation. The idea behind the phase estimation protocol is a simple maximal-information gain strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012305
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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