Resolution of Quantum Imaging with Undetected Photons

Jorge Fuenzalida1,2, Armin Hochrainer1,2, Gabriela Barreto Lemos3,4, Evelyn A. Ortega1,2, Radek Lapkiewicz5, Mayukh Lahiri6, and Anton Zeilinger1,2

1Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Boltzmanngasse 3, Vienna A-1090, Austria
2Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ), Faculty of Physics, Boltzmanngasse 5, University of Vienna, Vienna A-1090, Austria
3Instituto de Física, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Av. Athos da Silveira Ramos 149, Rio de Janeiro, CP: 68528, Brazil
4Physics Department, University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston MA 02125, USA
5Institute of Experimental Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, Pasteura 5, Warsaw 02-093, Poland
6Department of Physics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA

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Quantum imaging with undetected photons is a recently introduced technique that goes significantly beyond what was previously possible. In this technique, images are formed without detecting the light that interacted with the object that is imaged. Given this unique advantage over the existing imaging schemes, it is now of utmost importance to understand its resolution limits, in particular what governs the maximal achievable spatial resolution.
We show both theoretically and experimentally that the momentum correlation between the detected and undetected photons governs the spatial resolution — a stronger correlation results in a higher resolution. In our experiment, the momentum correlation plays the dominating role in determining the resolution compared to the effect of diffraction. We find that the resolution is determined by the wavelength of the undetected light rather than the wavelength of the detected light. Our results thus show that it is in principle possible to obtain resolution characterized by a wavelength much shorter than the detected wavelength.

Superposition and entanglement are some unique features of quantum physics. Based on these fascinating properties, new promising technologies are being developed in communications, computing, and sensing. In quantum imaging, a technique called ‘quantum imaging with undetected photons’ allows imaging an object without detecting the light that interacts with it. Therefore, this technique removes detection constraints for exotic wavelengths, enabling hyperspectral imaging and beyond possible. Although this technique was introduced in 2014, no thorough work has been done on its resolution. Here we present a comprehensive study on the resolution of quantum imaging with undetected photons.

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