The progress of human society is often accompanied by an increase in the ability to explore the unknown world, which depends on the sensors that people observe the world around them. As we know, humans have biosensors, such as eyes and ears, that can see distant objects and hear sounds. When telescopes and microscopes were found, people could see farther and smaller objects. The birth of quantum mechanics has enabled us to better understand the interaction of microscopic particles such as photons, electrons, and atoms. Using the special properties of microscopic particles, quantum technology can have more powerful capabilities than the corresponding classical information technology, such as: quantum systems can achieve quantum sensing that breaks through the limits of classical measurement, secure quantum communication, and parallel quantum computing.
Among these fields, quantum sensors are devices that measure physical quantities using the quantum properties of microscopic particles. Due to the vulnerability of quantum states to environmental perturbations, one can use it to measure physical quantities in the environment and their changes, and its sensitivity can be much higher than that of traditional measurement systems. Quantum sensing is the frontier of the development of modern physics, and it has been highly concerned by various countries. People have also formulated and launched major research plans for the practical application of quantum sensing technology. This field has gradually moved from laboratory to practical applications.
Quantum sensing technology based on neutral atoms or atom-like systems have been attracting attention because they utilize quantum systems where the accuracy and sensitivity of measurements can reach the quantum regime, for example atomic clock, atomic interferometer, atomic magnetometers, and etc. With the rapid development of quantum sensing, an atomic microwave receiver with Rydberg atom that could break through the traditional microwave measurement system in all aspects of performance has potential applications.
Microwave electric field refers to electromagnetic waves with wavelengths between 1 mm and 1 m. Because of its better orientation and higher information capacity, it has vital applications in the fields of data communication, remote sensing, navigation, and etc. The traditional method to measure microwave electric field is based on an antenna, which has inherently frequency-dependent size and limited sensitivity due to electronic noise. As the Rydberg atom has a large electric dipole moment, it has a strong response to weak electric fields, so it is favored as a very promising microwave measurement system. The Rydberg atom has great advantages in measuring microwave electric fields, and it is expected to realize quantum microwave measurement methods that surpass traditional methods.
This topic collection focuses on theories and technologies of Rydberg atom quantum metrology. In this collection, we invite authors to submit original research or review articles on Rydberg atom quantum metrology theories and technologies. The editors are interested in articles which help to improve the performance of quantum metrology by Rydberg atom, and the promoted technologies in practical applications.
Topics include, but are not limited to:
• Rydberg atom,
• Microwave measurement,
• Atomic antenna,
• Quantum metrology,
• THz imaging,
• Atomic microwave receiver,
• Microwave-to-Optics Conversion,
• Enhanced Precision,
• Atomic electrometry,
• Atomic mixer