Thermal Quantum Metrology

Research output: Working paper


In bosonic quantum metrology, the estimate of a loss parameter is typically performed by means of pure states, such as coherent, squeezed or entangled states, while mixed thermal probes are discarded for their inferior performance. Here we show that thermal sources with suitable correlations can be engineered in such a way to approach, or even surpass, the error scaling of coherent states in the presence of general Gaussian decoherence. Our findings pave the way for practical quantum metrology with thermal sources in optical instruments (e.g., photometers) or at different wavelengths (e.g., far infrared, microwave or X-ray) where the generation of quantum features, such as coherence, number states, squeezing or entanglement, may be extremely challenging.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2016


  • quant-ph
  • physics.optics

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