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Nano particles trapped between mirrors might be a promising platform for quantum sensors.

Sensors are a pillar of the Internet of Things, providing the data to control all sorts of objects. Here, precision is essential, and this is where quantum technologies could make a difference. Researchers in Innsbruck and Zurich are now demonstrating how nanoparticles in tiny optical resonators can be transferred into quantum regime and used as high-precision sensors.

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Credit: Uni Innsbruck/Harald Ritsch

Two teams of physicists led by Peter Zoller and Thomas Monz at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, have designed the first programmable quantum sensor, and tested it in the laboratory. To do so they applied techniques from quantum information processing to a measurement problem. The innovative method promises quantum sensors whose precision reaches close to the limit set by the laws of nature.

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Illustration: Mathieu Juan/University of Sherbrooke

Experimental physicists led by Gerhard Kirchmair, together with theoretical physicists at the University of Oulu, Finland, have succeeded for the first time in controlling protected quantum states - so-called dark states - in superconducting quantum bits. The entangled states are 500 times more robust and could be used, for example, in quantum simulations. The method could also be used on other technological platforms.

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Christine Maier

Experimental physicist Christine Maier from Rainer Blatt's research group will receive the IQOQI Thesis Award 2021. The award, endowed with 1,000 euros, is being presented this year for the eighth time and recognizes scientific excellence in the field of quantum physics.

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A class of observables known as partial spectral form factors can efficiently measure signatures of chaos in existing quantum simulators, opening the door to future insights into chaos and thermalization.

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