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Purdue University

Quantum Detectors and Sensors

Purdue University via edX


Classical detectors and sensors are ubiquitous around us from heat sensors in cars to light detectors in a camera cell phone. Leveraging advances in the theory of noise and measurement, an important paradigm of quantum metrology has emerged. Here, ultra-precision measurement devices collect maximal information from the world around us at the quantum limit. This enables a new frontier of perception that promises to impact machine learning, autonomous navigation, surveillance strategies, information processing, and communication systems.

Students in this in-depth course will learn the fundamentals about state-of-the-art quantum detectors and sensors. They will also learn about quantum noise and how it limits quantum devices. The primary goal of the course is to empower students with a critical and deep understanding of emerging applications at the quantum-classical boundary. This will allow them to adopt quantum detectors and sensors for their own endeavors.


Module 1: Quantum Noise

  • Bosons vs. Fermions
  • Bosonic Harmonic Oscillator
  • Two-Level Atoms
  • Fluctuation-Dissipation Theorem
  • Vacuum Fluctuations

Module 2: Quantum Detectors

  • Classical Detectors
  • Single Photon Avalanche Detectors
  • Superconducting Detectors
  • Quantum Interference
  • Quantum Non-Demolition Measurement

Module 3: Quantum Sensing

  • Quantum Fisher Information
  • Coherent States and Squeezed States
  • Quantum Interferometry
  • Nitrogen Vacancy Centers in Diamond
  • Quantum Phase Transition Based Sensing Detection

Taught by

Zubin Jacob, Li-Ping Yang and Leif Bauer


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