Towards quantum-based realisations of the pascal

Short Name: QuantumPascal, Project Number: 18SIB04
Fabry-Pérot resonator used at CNAM for photon-based pressure - Courtesy of Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM)

Quantum-based realisations of the pascal expected to yield new ways to calibrate gas pressure measurements

Despite minimal improvements in performance over decades, industrial and scientific measurements of gas pressure are still made with manometers containing toxic mercury. Piston gauges are more accurate but require exchange of weights during calibration and can be slow, bulky, complex, and require additional methods below 3 kilopascals. In theory, the drawbacks could be fixed using photon-based devices that use helium or other gases as the calculable reference substance. Miniaturisation could also enable faster, cheaper, calibration-free measurements.


The project will develop photon-based standards, applying quantum methods showing potential as a replacement primary standard of the SI unit of pressure, the pascal. Various methods will be tried, some pioneering, combined with new calculations of thermodynamic and electromagnetic gas properties. Performance will then be compared with current primary pressure standards. Technologies developed will be promoted to end users and standards bodies: as quantum-based realisations of the pascal could enable more accurate and versatile pressure measurement methods, to benefit other fields of metrology, wider science, industry and manufacturing.

Other Participants
Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy)
Umeå Universitet (Sweden)
University College London (United Kingdom)
Uniwersytet Warszawski (Poland)
WIKA Alexander Wiegand SE & Co. KG (Germany)