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Journal Articles Optica Year : 2024

Ultra-sensitive separation estimation of optical sources


Historically, the resolution of optical imaging systems was dictated by diffraction, and the Rayleigh criterion was long considered an unsurpassable limit. In superresolution microscopy, this limit is overcome by manipulating the emission properties of the object. However, in passive imaging, when sources are uncontrolled, reaching sub-Rayleigh resolution remains a challenge. Here, we implement a quantum-metrology-inspired approach for estimating the separation between two incoherent sources, achieving a sensitivity five orders of magnitude beyond the Rayleigh limit. Using a spatial mode demultiplexer, we examine scenes with bright and faint sources, through intensity measurements in the Hermite–Gauss basis. Analyzing sensitivity and accuracy over an extensive range of separations, we demonstrate the remarkable effectiveness of demultiplexing for sub-Rayleigh separation estimation. These results effectively render the Rayleigh limit obsolete for passive imaging.
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Dates and versions

hal-04430105 , version 1 (06-07-2023)
hal-04430105 , version 2 (31-01-2024)




Clémentine Rouvière, David Barral, Antonin Grateau, Ilya Karuseichyk, Giacomo Sorelli, et al.. Ultra-sensitive separation estimation of optical sources. Optica, 2024, 11 (2), pp.166. ⟨10.1364/optica.500039⟩. ⟨hal-04430105v2⟩
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