Scientists have set a new record in optical measurements using photons, achieving a level of precision that before now was only possible in the world of theory.
In a first-of-its-kind experiment, a team of physicists has broken through what's called the shot-noise limit – maximising the amount of information that can be extracted from individual particles of light in optical measurements.
For decades, theoretical physicists have predicted that taking measurements with photons in quantum states – where individual particles of light are entangled – could deliver an advantage over measurements taken with light in non-quantum states.
"When photons are entangled, their properties are correlated, or connected together," quantum physicist Geoff Pryde from Griffith University in Australia told ScienceAlert.
"This means there is less randomness in the measurement. However, it turns out that these entangled states only work if the entangled photons are high-quality and don't go 'missing'."