ADELPHI, Md. -- The Department of Defense named an Army scientist with the 2020 Laboratory University Collaboration Initiative Fellowship award for his work in quantum networking and quantum sensing research.Dr. Vladimir S. Malinovsky, physical scientist at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory with 35 years of research experience in quantum science, is specifically recognized for his project dealing with high-precision metrology with optimized spin squeezed states of cold atoms.LUCI is a pilot program that supports collaboration between Department of Defense lab scientists and DOD-funded academics by funding high risk basic research projects and providing adequate time to researchers to cultivate their ideas for long term research.According to its official website, the program strives to capitalize on the unfettered curiosity driven research and innovative spirit of universities by focusing their energy and ideas on defense research. This is realized by a partnership with a scientist at a DOD research laboratory, whose primary job is to bring better capabilities to the future warfighter.Malinovsky is actively involved in quantum networking and quantum sensing research. He is an expert in quantum information science, quantum control, quantum optics and non-linear laser spectroscopy. He has co-authored more than 170 scientific publications including one book Principles of Laser Spectroscopy and Quantum Optics, Princeton (2011). Malinovsky is also a member of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society.“I am greatly honored to receive the 2020 LUCI Fellowship award,” Malinovsky said. “I am truly grateful to all my friends and colleagues who have helped make winning the award possible. Special thanks to my team members as well as to Prof. Vladan Vuletic for his generous commitment to our collaboration on the awarded project.”This project is conducted in collaboration with Prof. Vladan Vuletic from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Vuletic is the Lester Wolfe Professor of Physics at MIT, and is an atomic-physics experimentalist with interests in ultra-cold atoms and ions, atom-light interaction, precision measurements and many-body quantum state control. He is an expert in atom spin squeezing and atom-photon cavity interactions.Malinovsky and Vuletic propose to design high-precision schemes for cold atom metrological devices (atom interferometers and atomic clocks) using optimal control theory.“The proposal utilizes the quantum estimation theory framework to optimally harness the quantum metrological resources present in correlated spin-squeezed atomic states,” Malinovsky said. “The ultimate research goal is to design quantum sensors that can achieve the Heisenberg quantum limit in metrological precision through an enhancement of the signal contrast beyond what is feasible with uncorrelated states.”A typical Mach-Zehnder type atom interferometer using uncorrelated particles operates at most at the standard quantum limit, when the phase infidelity scales as the inverse square root of atom number, Malinovsky said.“Principally different and substantially more favorable scaling with atom number can be reached by employing entangled states and specifically spin squeezed states,” Malinovsky said. “In this case, the standard quantum limit in sensitivity scaling can be overcome and ultimately the Heisenberg quantum limit can be achieved when the phase infidelity scales as the inverse of atom number.”With LUCI funding, the researchers will design metrological protocols based on collective quantum states of cold atom ensembles, utilizing optimal control guided by quantum estimation theory.“We plan to optimize the protocol for the production of spin squeezed states and corresponding high-precision measurement protocols, robust to implementation errors, while respecting experimental constraints,” Malinovsky said.The potential sensitivity gain of cold-atom based inertial sensors and atomic clocks can enable next-generation U.S. Army capabilities in remote detection, sub-surface monitoring and navigation, he said.Atom interferometer-based gravity gradiometers have the potential to reach sensitivities of a few orders of magnitude higher than conventional gravity sensors, allowing them to detect dense materials in shipping containers or in buried underground structures. It is becoming clear that atom interferometer-based sensors will play a crucial role in achieving success in future Department of Defense missions, he said.“We are excited about this great opportunity to further explore the quantum phenomenon of multipartite correlations and are looking forward to the next three years of collaboration with the MIT research group,” Malinovsky said.CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army’s corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command’s core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win the nation’s wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.