Quantum sensing with nanoparticles for gravimetry; when bigger is better

Markus Rademacher, James Millen, Ying Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Following the first demonstration of a levitated nanosphere cooled to the quantum ground state in 2020 [1], macroscopic quantum sensors are seemingly on the horizon. The nanosphere's large mass as compared to other quantum systems enhances the susceptibility of the nanoparticle to gravitational and inertial forces. In this viewpoint we describe the features of experiments with optically levitated nanoparticles [2] and their proposed utility for acceleration sensing. Unique to the levitated nanoparticle platform is the ability to implement not only quantum noise limited transduction, predicted by quantum metrology to reach sensitivities on the order of 10−15ms−2 [3], but also long-lived quantum spatial superpositions for enhanced gravimetry. This follows a global trend in developing sensors, such as cold-atom interferometers, that exploit superposition or entanglement. Thanks to significant commercial development of these existing quantum technologies, we discuss the feasibility of translating levitated nanoparticle research into applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Optical Technologies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Jul 2020


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