Improved Spatial Resolution Achieved by Chromatic Intensity Interferometry

Kavli Affiliate: Frank Wilczek

| First 5 Authors: Lu-Chuan Liu, Luo-Yuan Qu, Cheng Wu, Jordan Cotler, Fei Ma

| Summary:

Interferometers are widely used in imaging technologies to achieve enhanced
spatial resolution, but require that the incoming photons be indistinguishable.
In previous work, we built and analyzed color erasure detectors which expand
the scope of intensity interferometry to accommodate sources of different
colors. Here we experimentally demonstrate how color erasure detectors can
achieve improved spatial resolution in an imaging task, well beyond the
diffraction limit. Utilizing two 10.9 mm-aperture telescopes and a 0.8 m
baseline, we measure the distance between a 1063.6 nm source and a 1064.4 nm
source separated by 4.2 mm at a distance of 1.43 km, which surpasses the
diffraction limit of a single telescope by about 40 times. Moreover, chromatic
intensity interferometry allows us to recover the phase of the Fourier
transform of the imaged objects – a quantity that is, in the presence of modest
noise, inaccessible to conventional intensity interferometry.

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