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Phys Rev Lett. 2000 Oct 30;85(18):3789-92.

Quantum limits on optical resolution

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  • 1Fachbereich Physik, Universitat-GH Essen, D-45117 Essen, Germany and Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Case 74, F-75252 Paris cedex 05, France.


We discuss the ultimate limit imposed by quantum fluctuations of light for resolution of fine details in optical images. For this purpose, we extend in the quantum domain the classical analysis of the object reconstruction, or superresolution, in terms of prolate spheroidal function basis. We derive the expression for ultimate resolution limit in the reconstructed object using an illumination of the full object plane by a multimode squeezed vacuum. We show that the gain in resolution using multimode squeezed light is maximum when the Shannon number of the imaging system is close to unity.

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