DOI: 10.1002/adpr.202300223 ISSN: 2699-9293

Distributed Phase Estimation at the Heisenberg Limit with Classical Light

Zijian Guo, Peijie Sun, Yifan Sun, Qian Li, Lingjun Kong, Xiangdong Zhang
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science

Quantum metrology, such as quantum phase estimation, can surpass classical sensing limits, reaching the Heisenberg‐scaling precision. So far, this kind of metrology has been thought to be only implementable with the quantum systems, which, however, are fragile to environmental noise and hardly contribute to the practical detections. Herein, it is demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally that the parameter encoded by the optical phase can also be estimated at the Heisenberg scaling in classical optics. Inspired by the quantum‐entanglement‐enhanced sensing scheme, the estimation is performed by using classically correlated beams as probes, and obtaining the probes readout after their interaction with the target system. Because the correlated beams considered are spatially separable, a distributed phase estimation scheme is given, which can sense the linear combinations of the phase shifts induced by distinct systems. The results of our experiments show an error reduction up to 3.89 dB below the classical limit when the correlated beam number for probing is 6, approaching the Heisenberg limit. Compared with quantum strategies, the proposal shows a better robustness against the environmental disturbance and keeps their performances even when the correlated beam number is relatively large. Hence, it indicates promising practical applications in the future.

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