Phase-insensitive amplifier for quantum measurements

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Precision measurement has been a primary driving force for advancing modern science. In particular, optical interferometers lead to the direct detection of gravitational waves from black holes and neutron stars, and can also be applied for axion dark matter detection. But how can we further improve optical measurements? The fundamental limit to their precision comes from the quantum nature of light. The canonical approach to overcoming the quantum limit is using the non-classical squeezed state of light. After decades of developments, it becomes full-fledged, but also reaches the hard limit from the optical loss that destroys the quantum decoherence. In this project, we will explore a new paradigm using quantum amplification that complements the squeezing technique and is robust against optical loss. The novelty involves an exploration of a phase-insensitive amplification process that leads to an asymmetrical amplification of the signal and the noise in optical interferometers. We will perform the first experimental study of an optomechanical amplifier and theoretically investigate the optimal amplification scheme. Our findings can lead to a new class of quantum techniques and will have a broad impact on high-precision detectors.

Publications

10 25 50

 
Description We have shown how quantum amplifiers can improve the LIGO detectors by more than an order of magnitude. We led three collaboration papers with Caltech and the University of Western Australia on these findings.

We have also successfully developed a facility for testing phase-insensitive amplifiers at optical frequencies and successfully characterised silicon nitride membranes required for the experimental demonstration of phase-insensitive amplification.
Exploitation Route We developed the procedure to enhance the quantum sensitivity of precision measurements with quantum amplifiers. The next logical step is to demonstrate the improvement and then utilise it in resonant systems, such as LIGO.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Other

 
Description Astonomy in the City, University of Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 150 people attended the University of Birmingham Astronomy in the City event to discuss recent progress in our research field. In the beginning, we delivered a 45 min talk and then the audience asked their questions about science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.sr.bham.ac.uk/observatory/astronomyinthecity.php#:~:text=Our%20next%20Astronomy%20in%20t...
 
Description Forward Thinking programme for Year 9 school students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I was a speaker at the event Forward Thinking programme for Year 9 school students (50 participants). I gave a talk about space imaging and the students designed their own space telescope as a part of a group exercise and got positive feedback about the session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/teachers/years-7-11/forward-thinking.aspx#:~:text=The%20programme%20is%...
 
Description Physics talks within the Birmingham Summer School for Year 10 students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I was a speaker at the event Physics talks within the Birmingham Summer School for Year 10 students (50 participants). I have a talk about imaging and discussed limitations on the optical resolution of cameras and human eyes and got positive feedback from the organisers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/teachers/years-7-11/year-10-summer-school.aspx