Back to sources – the role of losses and coherence in super-resolution imaging revisited

Stanislaw Kurdzialek

Centre for Quantum Optical Technologies, Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw, Banacha 2c, 02-097 Warszawa, Poland
Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, Pasteura 5, 02-093 Warszawa, Poland

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Photon losses are intrinsic for any translationally invariant optical imaging system with a non-trivial Point Spread Function, and the relation between the transmission factor and the coherence properties of an imaged object is universal – we demonstrate the rigorous proof of this statement, based on the principles of quantum mechanics. The fundamental limit on the precision of estimating separation between two partially coherent sources is then derived. The careful study of the role of photon losses allows to resolve conflicting claims present in previous works. We compute the Quantum Fisher Information for the generic model of optical 4f imaging system, and use prior considerations to validate the result for a general, translationally invariant imaging apparatus. We prove that the spatial-mode demultiplexing (SPADE) measurement, optimal for non-coherent sources, remains optimal for an arbitrary degree of coherence. Moreover, we show that some approximations, omnipresent in theoretical works about optical imaging, inevitably lead to unphysical, zero-transmission models, resulting in misleading claims regarding fundamental resolution limits.

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The above citations are from Crossref's cited-by service (last updated successfully 2024-07-15 16:04:57) and SAO/NASA ADS (last updated successfully 2024-07-15 16:04:58). The list may be incomplete as not all publishers provide suitable and complete citation data.