Quantum ghost imaging improved by using five-atom correlations

phys.org | 6/26/2019 | Staff
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In conventional imaging methods, a beam of photons (or other particles) is reflected off the object to be imaged. After the beam travels to a detector, the information gathered there is used to create a photograph or other type of image. In an alternative imaging technique called "ghost imaging," the process works a little differently: an image is reconstructed from information that is detected from a beam that never actually interacts with the object.

The key to ghost imaging is to use two or more correlated beams of particles. While one beam interacts with the object, the second beam is detected and used to reconstruct the image, even though the second beam never interacts with the object. The only aspect of the first beam that is detected is the arrival time of each photon on a separate detector. But because the two beams are correlated, the image of the object can be fully reconstructed.

Beams - Ghost - Imaging - Research - Higher-order

While two beams are usually used in ghost imaging, recent research has demonstrated higher-order correlations—that is, correlations among three, four, or five beams. Higher-order ghost imaging can lead to improvements in image visibility, but it comes with the drawback that higher-order correlated events have a lower probability of detection, which causes lower resolution.

In a new paper, a team of physicists from the Australian National University in Canberra has achieved two firsts in higher-order ghost imaging: the first demonstration of higher-order ghost imaging with massive particles (they use ultracold helium atoms) and the first higher-order ghost imaging that uses correlated beams from a quantum source. As their quantum source, the researchers used two colliding Bose-Einstein condensates, which are clusters of atoms cooled to near absolute zero. At such...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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