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Quantum-accelerated imaging of N stars

Abstract

Imaging point sources with low angular separation near or below the Rayleigh criterion are important in astronomy, e.g., in the search for habitable exoplanets near stars. However, the measurement time required to resolve stars in the sub-Rayleigh region via traditional direct imaging is usually prohibitive. Here we propose quantum-accelerated imaging (QAI) to significantly reduce the measurement time using an information-theoretic approach. QAI achieves quantum acceleration by adaptively learning optimal measurements from data to maximize Fisher information per detected photon. Our approach can be implemented experimentally by linear-projection instruments followed by single-photon detectors. We estimate the position, brightness, and the number of unknown stars $10 \sim 100$ times faster than direct imaging with the same aperture. QAI is scalable to a large number of incoherent point sources and can find widespread applicability beyond astronomy to high-speed imaging, fluorescence microscopy, and efficient optical read-out of qubits.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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Supplementary Material (1)

NameDescription
Visualization 1       Visualization of adaptive modal basis in quantum-accelerated imaging

Data Availability

Data underlying the results presented in this Letter are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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