Thermometry in the quantum regime: Recent theoretical progress

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© 2019 IOP Publishing Ltd. Controlling and measuring the temperature in different devices and platforms that operate in the quantum regime is, without any doubt, essential for any potential application. In this review, we report the most recent theoretical developments dealing with accurate estimation of very low temperatures in quantum systems. Together with the emerging experimental techniques and developments of measurement protocols, the theory of quantum thermometry will decisively impinge and shape the forthcoming quantum technologies. While current quantum thermometric methods differ greatly depending on the experimental platform, the achievable precision, and the temperature range of interest, the theory of quantum thermometry is built under a unifying framework at the crossroads of quantum metrology, open quantum systems, and quantum many-body physics. At a fundamental level, theoretical quantum thermometry is concerned with finding the ultimate bounds and scaling laws that limit the precision of temperature estimation for systems in and out of thermal equilibrium. At a more practical level, it provides tools to formulate precise, yet feasible, thermometric protocols for relevant experimental architectures. Last but not least, the theory of quantum thermometry examines genuine quantum features, like entanglement and coherence, for their exploitation in enhanced-resolution thermometry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number303001
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2019


  • nanoscale thermometry
  • open quantum systems
  • quantum many-body systems
  • quantum metrology
  • Quantum thermometry


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