The general aim of this proposal is to exploit quantum information to develop new powerful methods for the retrieval and recognition of classical data from physical systems. More precisely, we aim at showing a substantial quantum-enhancement in several fundamental tasks: (1) the readout of classical data from digital memories (quantum reading); (2) the recognition of classical patterns (quantum pattern recognition); (3) the optical measurement of concentration in fragile biomedical samples (quantum bio-probing); and (4) the microwave detection of target objects (microwave quantum illumination or quantum radar). These objectives are realized starting from the optimization of a general theoretical model at their basis: quantum channel discrimination. This is then developed into technical aspects which directly support our experimental proof-of-principle demonstrations.
Our experimental prototypes could open the way to much more powerful and radically new forms of information and detection technologies, with direct benefit for science and the wider society. Thanks to the superior performances in the low energy regime, quantum reading may increase data-transfer rates and storage capacities of current digital memories by orders of magnitude. Quantum pattern recognition could have remarkable long-term applications in biology and medicine, in terms of non-invasive analysis of very fragile biological samples or human tissues, and better recognizing hidden patterns associated to bacterial growths or cancerous cells. Such results could provide future non-invasive techniques of medical imaging for private and public hospitals. Finally, the realization of a working prototype of a quantum radar may have non-trivial applications for the European security technology.
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