Supervisors: 

Ivette Fuentes

Myungshik Kim

Relativity and quantum metrology of time

Quantum mechanics, via Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, implies a fundamental imprecision in the measurement of physical quantities. Recently, it has been shown that one can use entangled quantum states to shift uncertainty away from the quantity which one wishes to measure. This is part of the field of quantum metrology, promising to improve a range of technologies including magnetometers, interferometers (leading to a potential upgrade to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), and in particular, atomic clocks. The application of ideas from quantum metrology to the domain of Quantum Field Theory in Curved Spacetime (QFTCS) has led to the proposal of entirely new quantum technologies, exploiting relativity to precisely measure acceleration, temperature, black hole mass and the presence of gravitational waves (among other things). This emerging field is known as relativistic quantum metrology.

My work focusses on the application of quantum metrology (and its relativistic version) to the problem of measuring time. We approach the problem from both operational and purely theoretical perspectives, considering, for example, how relativistic generation and degradation of entanglement may affect the operation of entangled clock systems, or whether extra noise or uncertainty will be induced by certain effects of QFTCS (such as the Unruh effect), leading to new constraints on the measurement of time. In addition, we seek ways to exploit relativistic effects to develop new technologies, for example using atomic clocks to measure spacetime parameters.

Publications 

On the nature of long range electronic coupling in a medium: Distance and orientational dependence for chromophores in molecular aggregates, Maximilian P. E. Lock, David L. Andrews and Garth A. Jones, J. Chem. Phys. 140, 044103 (2014)