In this project our goal is to exploit the unusual rules governing of quantum physics to define a new class of sensors based on mechanical motion. Our project will allow us to define a new class of sensors that will outperform currently available ones, which are based on classical physics.
Our work will focus on three different platforms: carbon nanotubes, piezoelectric resonators and optomechanical systems.
Each of these systems will cover a different range of frequencies and specific properties that will be investigated, ranging from material science to gravitational physics. A great deal of effort will be devoted to the theoretical aspects of how these systems can outperform classical ones, requiring us to establish methods to generate and characterize quantum states of mechanical motion.
The major part of the project, including work packages (WP) 1, 2, and parts of 3, falls under the area of Quantum information sciences, specifically “Novel sources of non-classical states and methods to engineer such states” and “Methods for the reconstruction and estimation of complex quantum states or channels and certification of their properties.” WP 3 mostly falls under the area of Quantum metrology sensing and imaging, specifically the “Use of quantum properties” for force sensing and “Development of detection schemes that are optimised with respect to extracting relevant information from physical systems.” One of the main goals of the project is to establish methods to create and characterize non-classical states in mechanical resonators. Quantum control of such systems and their usage as quantum resources is still very much in its early days. In aspects ranging from hardware performance to theoretical understanding, there is significant room for development. Furthermore, the reconstruction and estimation of quantum states and their properties is directly linked to extracting useful information from quantum sensors like the ones we aim to build. The complexity of solid-state mechanical systems and their environments makes this process an especially interesting challenge that we hope to tackle.