Ultimate limits to quantum metrology and the meaning of the Heisenberg limit

Marcin Zwierz, Carlos A. Pérez-Delgado, and Pieter Kok

Physical Review A 85, 042112 (2012)

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For the last twenty years, the question of what are the fundamental capabilities of quantum precision measurements has sparked a lively debate throughout the scientific community. Typically, the ultimate limits in quantum metrology are associated with the notion of the Heisenberg limit expressed in terms of the physical resources used in the measurement procedure. Over the years, a variety of different physical resources were introduced leading to a confusion about the meaning of the Heisenberg limit. Here, we review the mainstream definitions of the relevant resources and introduce the universal resource count, that is, the expectation value of the generator (above its ground state) of translations in parameter we wish to estimate, that applies to all measurement strategies. This leads to the ultimate formulation of the Heisenberg limit for quantum metrology.

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