Ultimate Precision of Adaptive Noise Estimation

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We consider the estimation of noise parameters in a quantum channel, assuming the most general strategy allowed by quantum mechanics. This is based on the exploitation of unlimited entanglement and arbitrary quantum operations, so that the channel inputs may be interactively updated. In this general scenario, we draw a novel connection between quantum metrology and teleportation. In fact, for any teleportation-covariant channel (e.g., Pauli, erasure, or Gaussian channel), we find that adaptive noise estimation cannot beat the standard quantum limit, with the quantum Fisher information being determined by the channel’s Choi matrix. As an example, we establish the ultimate precision for estimating excess noise in a thermal-loss channel, which is crucial for quantum cryptography. Because our general methodology applies to any functional that is monotonic under trace-preserving maps, it can be applied to simplify other adaptive protocols, including those for quantum channel discrimination. Setting the ultimate limits for noise estimation and discrimination paves the way for exploring the boundaries of quantum sensing, imaging, and tomography.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100502
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2017

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