Quantum Lidar: ultimate and practical limits of object sensing

   Department of Physics

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Key Words: Quantum Optics, information, sensing

 In Lidar the task is to determine the properties of a remote object by illuminating it with laser light and detecting the scattered return signal. If there is a lot of background light confusing our detectors we can simply make the laser brighter to increase our signal. If we do not wish to use a bright beam, object detection will be difficult. 

 One way around this is to use quantum lidar, where we create a pair of (on average) very dim quantum-correlated beams. These beams fluctuate in intensity, but when one is bright (dim) the other one is too. We measure one beam and send the other one to sense the object. Our measurement tells us both the times when we send bright light and the times when we send dim. This extra information allows us to pick out an object hiding in the background light when we could not have done so with a laser of the same average brightness.

As part of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme Strathclyde has a successful joint theory and experimental project in quantum lidar and the holder of this studentship will get the chance to contribute to the theory of the ultimate limits of object detection in situations where there are practical measurement and light source restrictions. This theory will then be applied to experiments at Strathclyde and elsewhere.

Applicants should have at least a first class BSc (Hons), a 2(i) integrated masters or the equivalent in Physics or a closely-related subject, with a significant theoretical component. Proficiency with scientific programming would be an advantage. The project is open to UK nationals only. 

For more information or to discuss the project, please contact Professor John Jeffers -

Physics (29)

Funding Notes

This project is available now but can begin at any time before 31st March 2024.


1. Gaussian state-based quantum illumination with simple photodetection
H Yang, W Roga, JD Pritchard, J Jeffers
Optics Express 29 (6), 8199-8215 (2021)
2. Quantum illumination with multiplexed photodetection
H Yang, N Samantaray, J Jeffers
Physical Review Applied 18 (3), 034021 (2022)
3. Demonstration of quantum-enhanced rangefinding robust against classical jamming
MP Mrozowski, RJ Murchie, J Jeffers, JD Pritchard
arXiv preprint arXiv:2307.10794 (2023)
4. Object detection and rangefinding with quantum states using simple detection
RJ Murchie, JD Pritchard, J Jeffers
arXiv preprint arXiv:2307.10785 (2023)

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