With the ongoing progress of optoelectronic components, laser-based measurement systems allow measurements of position as well as displacement, strain and velocity with unbeatable speed and low measurement uncertainty. The performance limit is often studied for a single measurement setup, but a fundamental comparison of different measurement principles with respect to the ultimate limit due to quantum shot noise is rare. For this purpose, the Cramér-Rao bound is described as a universal information theoretic tool to calculate the minimal achievable measurement uncertainty for different measurement techniques, and a review of the respective lower bounds for laser-based measurements of position, displacement, strain and velocity at particles and surfaces is presented. As a result, the calculated Cramér-Rao bounds of different measurement principles have similar forms for each measurand including an indirect proportionality with respect to the number of photons and, in case of the position measurement for instance, the wave number squared. Furthermore, an uncertainty principle between the position uncertainty and the wave vector uncertainty was identified, i.e., the measurement uncertainty is minimized by maximizing the wave vector uncertainty. Additionally, physically complementary measurement approaches such as interferometry and time-of-flight positions measurements as well as time-of-flight and Doppler particle velocity measurements are shown to attain the same fundamental limit. Since most of the laser-based measurements perform similar with respect to the quantum shot noise, the realized measurement systems behave differently only due to the available optoelectronic components for the concrete measurement task.
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