A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have discovered a new method that could be used to build quantum sensors with ultra-high precision.

When individual atoms emit light, they do so in discrete packets called photons.

When this light is measured, this discrete or 'granular' nature leads to especially low fluctuations in its brightness, as two or more photons are never emitted at the same time.

This property is particularly useful in developing future quantum technologies, where low fluctuations are key, and has led to a surge of interest in engineered systems that act like atoms when they emit light, but whose properties are more easily tailored.

These 'artificial atoms' as they are known, are typically made from solid materials, and are in fact much larger objects, in which the presence of vibrations is unavoidable, and usually considered to be detrimental.

However, a collaborative team, led by the University of Bristol, has now established that these naturally occurring vibrations in artificial atoms can surprisingly lead to an even greater suppression of fluctuations in brightness than that present in natural atomic systems.

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