– the intergovernmental organization through which Member States act together
     on matters related to measurement science and measurement standards.
Search facility:

| Site map | News | Contact us
Quantum metrology: What's in store for the next generation?

The BIPM organized a workshop The Quantum Revolution in Metrology from 28-29 September 2017. The event promoted scientific exchange between leading researchers and representatives of the National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) on quantum technologies applied to metrology, advances made in quantum standards and next generation metrology.

We're moving from classical ways of defining the SI measurement units to a quantum way. So, this will allow us to better disseminate the SI ...In the future, the NMIs will still play a pivotal role but they’ll have greater focus on the realizations using fundamental constants and the development of the next generation of quantum devices. Dr Greg Strouse (NIST)

A highly international workshop, 135 participants from 20 countries attended the two-day event where 23 speakers animated five information packed sessions on the following themes:

  1. Single photon measurements, radiometry with entangled sources, superconducting particle detectors
  2. Quantum standards for mass, pressure, vacuum, temperature, acoustics and vibration”.
  3. Highly entangled systems for metrology, entangled optical clocks
  4. Advances in quantum electrical standards, single electron transistors and demonstrations of the "quantum metrology triangle
  5. Beyond quantum metrology

Additionally, during five highly dynamic poster sessions, participants had the opportunity to network and discuss current research on topics aligned with the workshop sessions.

Poster Session 5.	Beyond quantum metrology
Poster session Beyond quantum metrology held on the second day of the workshop.

Precision beyond that possible

Quantum metrology uses quantum effects to enhance precision beyond that possible through classical approaches. It is the study of making high-resolution and highly sensitive measurements of physical parameters using quantum theory to describe the physical systems. Quanta, individual packets of energy, are used for setting the standards that define units of measurement and for other high-precision research. Quantum mechanics sets the ultimate limit on the accuracy of any measurement.

The need for a radical reappraisal

Successful technologies based on quantum physics are predicated on precise engineering, which in turn requires more precise measurements on physical systems with sizes as small as a single particle. As a result quantum technology will require researchers to develop a quantum metrology necessitating a radical reappraisal of   traditional measurement concepts.

Quantum metrology also contributes to the making of ‘non-artefact’ standards known as ‘quantum standards’. These are based on specific quantum effects thus allowing the mise en pratique of units derived directly from the fundamental constants fixed in the revised International System of Units (SI). As a result these standards will be absolute standards ensuring consistent precision when realizing the units.

Select a topic:
BIPM highlights
BIPM CBKT programme
Member States and Associates
Metrology events
Revision of the SI
Staff and recruitments