Application-ready superresolution in space and frequency

The wave-particle duality of light introduces two fundamental problems to imaging: the diffraction limit and photon shot noise. With quantum information theory one can tackle both of them with a single holistic formalism: model the light as a quantum object, consider any quantum measurement, and pick the one that gives the best statistics. While Helstrom pioneered the theory and first applied it to incoherent imaging back in the 1970s, it was not until recently that the approach offered genuine surprises on the age-old topic by predicting a new class of superior imaging methods.

For the resolution of two sub-Rayleigh sources, such as stars or microscopic fluorophores, novel methods have very recently been theoretically and experimentally shown to outperform direct imaging, reaching the true quantum limits. Further efforts to generalize the theory for arbitrary sources suggest that, despite the existence of harsh quantum limits, the quantum-inspired methods can still offer significant improvements over direct imaging, potentially rendering more applications in astronomy, as well as in fluorescence microscopy. Such protocols for quantum-enhanced parameter estimation can also be applied to measure time or frequency with very high accuracy.

Given the know-how of the partners, in the proposed project we plan to design, systematically study and implement engineered coherent measurements in order to push the metrological resolution in space, time and frequency to its limits, at the same time making it available for technological and industrial applications.


  • Coordinator: Łukasz Rudnicki (University of Gdańsk, PL)
  • Christine Silberhorn (University of Paderborn, DE)
  • Zdeněk Hradil (Palacky University, CZ)
  • Luis Lorenzo Sanchez-Soto (Universidad Complutense, ES)
  • Nicolas Treps (Sorbonne Université, FR)
  • Jean-François Morizur (Cailabs, FR)

Call topic

Q-information sciences, Q-metrology sensing and imaging

Start date

April 2020


36 months

Funding support

€ 925 505,40