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Improving Quantum Clocks via Semidefinite Programming



Michael J. Mullan, Emanuel H. Knill


The accuracies of modern quantum logic clocks have surpassed those of standard atomic fountain clocks. These clocks also provide a greater degree of control, as before and after clock queries, we are able to apply chosen unitary operations and measurements. Here, we take advantage of these choices and present a numerical technique designed to increase the accuracy of these clocks. We use a greedy approach, minimizing the phase variance of a noisy classical oscillator with respect to a perfect frequency standard after an interrogation step; we do not optimize over successive interrogations nor over the probe times. We consider arbitrary prior frequency knowledge and compare clocks with varying numbers of ions and queries interlaced with unitary control. Our technique is based on the semidefinite programming formulation of quantum query complexity, a method first developed in the context of deriving algorithmic lower bounds. The application of semidefinite programming to an inherently continuous problem like that considered here requires discretization; we derive bounds on the error introduced and show that it can be made suitably small.
Quantum Information and Computation Journal


quantum clock, adversary method, semidefinite programming, algorithms


Mullan, M. and Knill, E. (2012), Improving Quantum Clocks via Semidefinite Programming, Quantum Information and Computation Journal, [online], (Accessed April 15, 2024)
Created July 26, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017