Quantum Noise Theory of Exceptional Point Amplifying Sensors

Mengzhen Zhang, William Sweeney, Chia Wei Hsu, Lan Yang, A. D. Stone, Liang Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Open quantum systems can have exceptional points (EPs), degeneracies where both eigenvalues and eigenvectors coalesce. Recently, it has been proposed and demonstrated that EPs can enhance the performance of sensors in terms of amplification of a detected signal. However, typically amplification of signals also increases the system noise, and it has not yet been shown that an EP sensor can have improved signal-to-noise performance. We develop a quantum noise theory to calculate the signal-to-noise performance of an EP sensor. We use the quantum Fisher information to extract a lower bound for the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and show that parametrically improved SNR is possible. Finally, we construct a specific experimental protocol for sensing using an EP amplifier near its lasing threshold and heterodyne signal detection that achieves the optimal scaling predicted by the Fisher bound. Our results can be generalized to higher order EPs for any bosonic non-Hermitian system with linear interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number180501
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - Oct 29 2019


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