Noisy frequency estimation with noisy probes

Agnieszka Górecka, Felix A. Pollock, Pietro Liuzzo-Scorpo, Rosanna Nichols, Gerardo Adesso, Kavan Modi

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3 Citations (Scopus)


We consider frequency estimation in a noisy environment with noisy probes. This builds on previous studies, most of which assume that the initial probe state is pure, while the encoding process is noisy, or that the initial probe state is mixed, while the encoding process is noiseless. Our work is more representative of reality, where noise is unavoidable in both the initial state of the probe and the estimation process itself. We prepare the probe in a GHZ diagonal state, starting from n + 1 qubits in an arbitrary uncorrelated mixed state, and subject it to parameter encoding under dephasing noise. For this scheme, we derive a simple formula for the (quantum and classical) Fisher information, and show that quantum enhancements do not depend on the initial mixedness of the qubits. That is, we show that the so-called 'Zeno' scaling is attainable when the noise present in the encoding process is time inhomogeneous. This scaling does not depend on the mixedness of the initial probe state, and it is retained even for highly mixed states that can never be entangled. We then show that the sensitivity of the probe in our protocol is invariant under permutations of qubits, and monotonic in purity of the initial state of the probe. Finally, we discuss two limiting cases, where purity is either distributed evenly among the probes or concentrated in a single probe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number083008
Number of pages14
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Frequency estimation
  • Mixed states
  • Open quantum systems
  • Quantum metrology

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