The second quantum revolution relies on our ability to control and measure individual quantum states in micro- and nanoscopic systems, such as atoms, ions, and quantum dots. The techniques resulting from this capability may lead to a considerable improvement in several sensing modalities, for example atomic clocks and the measurement of magnetic fields on the nanoscale.
As an example for a quantum sensor, and of course after introducing the underlying concepts of quantum sensing, I will present the nitrogen-vacancy defect, or color center, in diamond. First, I will explain how one can use it to measure magnetic and electric fields, temperature, strain and even pH levels. Then, I will try to show what the "quantum advantage" that is possible in this class of sensors and will give a few examples from research activities in our group. Finally, I will also discuss several industrial applications, some of which are already in use or in development around the world.