We present a square root law for active sensing of phase θ of a single pixel using optical probes that pass through a single-mode lossy thermal-noise bosonic channel. Specifically, we show that, when the sensor uses an n-mode covert optical probe, the mean squared error (MSE) of the resulting estimator θn scales as h(θ − θn)2i = O(1/√n); improving the scaling necessarily leads to detection by the adversary with high probability. We fully characterize this limit and show that it is achievable using laser light illumination and a heterodyne receiver, even when the adversary captures every photon that does not return to the sensor and performs arbitrarily complex measurement as permitted by the laws of quantum mechanics.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Jan 22 2017|
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