ECE 69500 - Quantum Detectors and Sensors

Course Details

Lecture Hours: 3 Credits: 3

Areas of Specialization:

  • Fields and Optics

Counts as:

  • EE Elective
  • CMPE Complementary Elective

Normally Offered:

Each Fall


On-campus and online


ECE 30100, ECE 30411

Requisites by Topic:

Fourier series, Fourier transforms, wave equation, Maxwell's equation, basics of solid state physics such as fermi function, etc. Graduate students will benefit from taking ECE 60400 concurrently or prior to this course.

Catalog Description:

This course introduces the knowledge that will empower students to understand the difference between the quantum and classical realms. Specifically, this course teaches the concept of quantum detectors, which are central to a wide variety of quantum technologies from computing to networking. Students will also learn about quantum sensors and how they push the frontiers of existing classical sensor technology. Students can expect to learn skills for designing next generation information/communication/imaging systems that exploit unique functionality of quantum detectors and sensors.

Required Text(s):


Recommended Text(s):


Learning Outcomes

A student who successfully fulfills the course requirements will have demonstrated an ability to:

  • Identify the fundamental differences between classical noise and quantum fluctuations in physical quantities (quantum noise)
  • Define the concept of coherence in space and time through the example of light (quantum coherence)
  • Describe the next generation of ultra-precision measurement tools (quantum metrology)
  • Design new systems for imaging, communications and a host of other applications exploiting superior detector technology (quantum detectors)
  • Recognize the fundamental limits of classical sensors and how to overcome them using quantum phenomena (quantum sensing)

Lecture Outline:

Weeks Topics
1 Bosons vs. Fermions
2 Bosonic Harmonic Oscillator
3 Two-Level Atoms
4 Fluctuation-Dissipation Theorem
5 Vacuum Fluctuations
6 Classical Detectors
7 Single Photon Avalanche Detectors
8 Superconducting Detectors
9 Quantum Interference
10 Quantum Non-Demolition Measurement
11 Coherent States and Squeezed States
12 Quantum Interferometry
13 Quantum Fisher Information
14 Nitrogen Vacancy Centers in Diamond
15 Quantum Phase Transition Based Sensing/ Detection

Assessment Method:

Homework and exams. (3/2022)