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Astronomical Applications of Quantum Optics

Astronomical Applications of Quantum Optics

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Astronomical Applications of Quantum Optics

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  1. Astronomical Applications of Quantum Optics This talk originates from a study (Quanteye) performed in 2005 in the frame of ESO’s OWL (then a 100m telescope) instrumentation, but which is valid for all Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs). Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  2. Main topics of the talk The time domain Quantum properties of (non-thermal) light Intensity interferometry (HBTII) Clocks and Detectors Quanteye for 100m OWL Aqueye, our Precursor for Asiago The Photon Orbital Angular Momentum (light beam vorticity) For quantum optics activites in Padova see: www.abfgroup.com Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  3. 1 - Time domain in astronomy Astronomy expands by pushing parameter envelopes, e.g. . in wavelength . in spatial resolution Future: Extremely High-Time Resolution Astrophysics? Non-thermal processes and ’Quantum’ properties of light? Well below t  1x10-6 s, a “new” window to the Universe ? Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  4. All of astronomy From milliseconds • Pulsars • Quasi-periodic oscillations • Lunar and stellar Occultations • Milli-, micro-and femto-lensing • Accretion instabilities • Photon-gas effects • Neutron-star oscillations • Photon emission mechanisms • Coherent radiation bursts • Photon quantum statistics • Etc. The giant pulses observed from 0.4 to 8.8 GHz with nanosecond resolution are the brightest pulses in the Universe. The source must be smaller than 1 meter in size! (Cordes et al., 2004, Ap.J. 612, pp. 375-388), and subsequent. To picoseconds Notice that atmospheric turbulence is poorly known at these very high frequencies. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  5. 2 - Quantum optics in astronomy - 1 • Photons are more complex than is generally appreciated. • Classical astrophysics merges all radiation of a certain wavelength into the quantity "intensity". When instead treating radiation as a three-dimensional photon gas, other effects also become significant, e.g. higher-order coherence and the temporal correlation between photons. • Glauber (1963a, 1963b, Nobel Prize 2005) showed that an arbitrary state of light can be specified with a series of coherence functions essentially describing one-, two-, three-, etc. photon-correlations with respect to position r and time t. • See also D.Dravins, ESO Messenger 78, 9 (1994). Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  6. 2 - Quantum optics in astronomy - 2 These quantum correlation effects are fully developed over timescales equal to the inverse bandwidth of light. For example, a 1 A bandpass filter in the visible gives a frequency bandwidth of  1011 Hz, and the effects are then fully developed on timescales of 10-11 seconds. Instrumentation with such continuous resolutions is not yet available, but it is (hopefully) possible to detect the effects, albeit with a decreased amplitude, also at the more manageable 50 to 100 picosecond timescales. The largest possible flux of photons is then necessary: Extremely Large Telescopes are absolutely needed to bring non-linear optics to astronomy. Quantum optics and ELTs could thus become a fundamentally new information channel to the Universe. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  7. First order correlation function - 1 The temporal coherence of light is quantified by the first order correlation function: whose modulus is also equal to the fringe visibility in the Michelson interferometer: Any realization of a photometer, spectrometer and phase interferometer (Michelson, Mach-Zender) measures some properties of this first order correlation function (see next slides). Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  8. First order correlation function - 2 All classical optical instruments measure properties of light that can be deduced from the first-order correlation function of light, g(1), for two coordinates in space rand time t. The different classes are collected in this Figure. E is the amplitude of the field, < > denotes time average, and * complex conjugate. Allsuch measurements can be ascribed to quantities of type E*E, corresponding to intensity I, which in the quantum limit means observations of individual photons or of statistical one-photon properties. Thus classical measurements do not distinguish light sources with identical G(1).Possible multi-photon phenomena in the photon stream reaching the observer are not identified, not even in principle. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  9. First order correlation function - 3 • Therefore, conventional astronomical instruments measure properties of light such as its intensity, spectrum, polarization or first-order coherence. However, such properties are generally insufficient, even in principle, to determine the physical conditions under which light has been created (e.g. thermal processes versus stimulated emission), or subsequent scattering processes. • Yet, different types of light may have quantum-statistical differences regarding collective multi-photon properties in the photon gas. Such properties are known for light from laboratory sources and might ultimately become experimentally measurable also for astronomical sources. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  10. A drastic example Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  11. Second order correlation function - 1 The description of collective multi-photon phenomena in a photon gas requires a quantum-mechanical treatment since photons have integer spin, and therefore constitute a boson fluid with properties different from a fluid of classical distinguishable particles. The second order correlation describes the correlation of intensity between two coordinates in space r and time t. With respect to time, the second order correlation function is defined by: For any classical wave the degree of coherence should always be less than g(2)(0) . This result is contradicted for quantum states of light. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  12. Second Order correlation function - 3 In thermodynamic equilibrium, photons occupy the energy levels according to Bose-Einstein (BE) distribution. However, away from equilibrium, photons may deviate from BE. For example, in the laboratory, one can observe how the physical nature of the photon gas gradually changes from chaotic (g(2) = 2) to ordered (g(2)= 1) when a laser is "turned on“, and the emission gradually changes from spontaneous to stimulated. Therefore, by measuring g(2) and knowing the laser parameters involved, it is possible to deduce the atomic energy level populations, which is an example of an astrophysically important parameter (non-LTE departure coefficient) which cannot be directly observed with classical measurements of one-photon properties. To determine whether one individual photon is due to spontaneous or stimulated emission requires the study of statistical properties of the boson fluid. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  13. Second Order correlation function - 4 Fundamental quantities measured in two-photon experiments. All such measurements can be ascribed to quantities of type I*I, i.e. intensity multiplied by itself, which in the quantum limit means observations of pairs of photons, or of statistical two-photon properties. In the Hanbury Brown Twiss intensity interferometer (HBTII) this is measured for r1r2 but t1 = t2: <I(0,0) I(r,0)>, thus deducing angular sizes of stars, reminiscent of a classical interferometer. For r1 = r2 but t1t2 we instead have an intensity-correlation spectrometer, which measures <I (0,0) I (0,t)>, determining the spectral width of e.g. scattered laser light. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  14. Additional Properties For a source with g(2)  2, neither an intensity interferometer nor an intensity-correlation spectrometer will yield correct results. Additional measurements are required to fully extract the information content of light. Many different quantum states of optical fields exist, not only those mentioned above which can be given classical analogs, but also e.g. photon antibunching with g(2) = 0, which is a purely quantum-mechanical state. This implies that neighboring photons "avoid" one another in space and time. While such properties are normal for fermions (e.g. electrons), which obey the Pauli exclusion principle, ensembles of bosons (e.g. photons) show such properties only in special situations. An antibunching tendency implies that the detection of a photon at a given time is followed by a decreased probability to detect another immediately afterward. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  15. Photon Arrival Times R. Loudon The Quantum Theory of Light (2000) 0 is the typical time scale, e.g. around 10 picosecond for monochromatic thermal visible light. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  16. Photon statistics, antibunching, quantum optical spectroscopy Antibunching in Resonance Fluorescence H.Kimble, M.Dagenais, L.Mandel Phys.Rev.Lett. 39, 691 (1977) Classically Identical Spectral Lines May Differ In Photon Statistics Photon Statistics Laser and Gaussian Sources F.T.Arecchi, Phys.Rev.Lett. 15, 912 (1965) Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  17. A laboratory example The different statistical properties of thermal and laser laboratory sources Adapted from D.Dravins, H.O.Hagerbo, L.Lindegren, E.Mezey, B.Nilsson: SPIE 2198, 289 , 1994) Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  18. Advantages of very large telescopes Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  19. Cosmic Lasers in Action A (too) early paper on optical astronomical laser : D.H. Menzel, :Laser Action in Non-Lte Atmospheres, in Spectrum Formation in Stars with Steady-State Extended Atmospheres, Proceedings of IAU Colloq. 2, 1969 in Munich, Germany. Edited by H. G. Groth and P. Wellmann, National Bureau of Standards Special Publication 332. Abstract: The radiative transfer equation is written in microscopic form, and from some simplifications on the ratio of occupation numbers for upper and lower level, a laser action is suggested. Two (more recent) review papers: M.Elitzur: Masers in the Sky, Scientific American, 272, No.2, 52 (Feb. 1995), for radio masers C. H. Townes, Astronomical masers and lasers, in Quantum Electron., 1997, 27 (12), 1031-1034 Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  20. An overall vision of astrophysical lasers Letokhov, V. S. Astrophysical Lasers Quant. Electr. 32, 1065 (2002) = Kvant. Elektron. 32, 1065 (2002) Masers and lasers in the active medium particle-density vs. dimension diagram. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  21. Laser emission in Eta Car -1 Observations with HST have identified a gas cloud that acts as a natural ultraviolet laser, near Eta Carinae. The interstellar laser may result from Eta Carinae's violently chaotic eruptions, in which it blasts parts of itself out into space, like an interstellar geyser. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  22. Laser Emission in Eta Carinae - 2 See the Papers: S. Johansson, V.S. Letokhov: - Possibility of Measuring the Width of Narrow Fe II Astrophysical Laser Lines in the Vicinity of Eta Carinae by means of Brown-Twiss-Townes Heterodyne Correlation Interferometry. - Astrophysical laser operating in the OI 8446-Å line in the Weigelt blobs of η Carinae, MNRAS, Volume 364, Issue 1, pp. 731-737, 2005 Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  23. 3 - The HBT Intensity Interferometer The crucially important laboratory work by Hanbury Brown, Twiss and Purcell was performed around 1955. It really was at the basis of the previous considerations (see Glauber and Arecchi). Subsequently (1965), they built a large optical intensity interferometer at Narrabri, Australia. Each 'mirror' was a mosaic of 252 small hexagonal mirrors, 38 cm. The composite mirrors were approximately of paraboloidal shape, but great optical accuracy was not sought, since it was only required that the starlight be directed onto the photocathodes. The light-gathering power of the 6.5 m diameter mirrors, the detectors, electronics etc. allowed the Narrabri interferometer to operate down to magnitude +2.0 See the book by R. Hanbury Brown, 1974 Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  24. The HBTII correlator The two 'mirrors' directed the starlight to two photomultipliers (RCA Type 8575, photocathode 42 mm diameter, stellar image about 25 mm). The starlight was filtered through a narrow-band interference filter. The most-used filter was 443 nm ± 5 nm. The photocurrent is sent to a wide-band amplifier, then through a phase-reversing switch, and then through a wide-band filter that passes 10-110 MHz. The signals from the two photomultipliers then are multiplied in the correlator in that frequency range. This bandwidth excludes seeing frequencies, thus eliminating their effects. In the jargon of the first slides, we would today consider the HBTII as the first astronomical instrument capable to measure the second order correlation coefficient in the photon strem. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  25. The rails The mirrors were mounted on two carriages that ran on a circular railway of 188 m diameter. A central cabin containing the controls and electronics was connected to the carriages by TV-type coaxial cables from a tower. The separation of the mirrors could be varied from 10 m up to 188 m. The mirrors rotated on three axes to follow the star. The available baseline distances permitted measurements of angular diameters from 0.011" to 0.0006". The electrical bandwidth (100 MHz) implies that the paths from the photomultipliers to the correlator must be equal to about 1 ns (30 cm in length) to avoid loss of correlation due to temporal coherence: it is much easier to equalize electrical transmission lines that optical paths (in the Michelson stellar interferometer, the paths must be equal to 1 or so). Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  26. Signal processing The filtered starlight is a quasi-monochromatic signal, in which the closely-spaced frequency components can be considered to beat against one another to create fluctuations inintensity. The accompanying fluctuations in phase were lost (notice, this loss of phase information is not necessarily true, see the recent papers by Ofir and Ribak, MNRAS 2006). The normalized correlation is proportional to |γ|2, the square of the fringe visibility in the Michelson case. Although the phase information was gone, the magnitude of the degree of coherence was still there, allowing the measurement of diameters (and possibly of limb-darkening if higher S/N ratio could have been reached in the second lobe). Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  27. Results of HBTII Measurements were finally made on 30 or so stars of spectral types B0 to F5 (the sensitivity increases very rapidly with the temperature of the star ). Measurements could not be made on Betelgeuse, since the mirrors could not be brought closer than 10 m apart, and the 6.5 m mirrors would themselves resolve the star, reducing the correlation to zero. CHANGE OF CORRELATION WITH BASELINE (a) Beta Cru (B0 IV); (b) Alpha Eri (B5 IV); (c) Alpha Car (F0 II) Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  28. Expected improvements The HBTII sensitivity is expressed by: independent on the optical BW and weakly dependent on the optical quality- Being a second order effect it is intrinsically very low: the original HBT limit was around the 6th mag in one week of integration! The figure shows the expected gain over the original HBT realization with modern detectors (QE 0.4 instead of 0.2) and time tagging capabilities (100 ps instead of 100 MHz), and precursors like VLTs, LBT, MAGIC, and finally with the 100 m OWL. The curves refer to 1, 2 and 3 hours of integration, Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  29. Future of HBTII with ELTs? In my opinion, the interest in HBTII will survive in the ELTs era. I wish to recall the following points: 1- ease of adjusting the time delays of the channels to equality within few centimeters (electronic instead of optical compensation); 2 - immunity to seeing: adaptive optics is not required 4 - blue sensitivity, with the possibility to utilize the large body of data from Michelson-type interferometers and to supplement their data with observations in this spectral region. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  30. Very Long Baseline Optical Intensity Interferometry The most exciting development of the HBT interferometer is the an Intensity Interferometry with two distant telescopes, therefore an optical (intensity) VLBI! No optical link is indeed needed, only time tagging to better than say 100 ps and proper account of atmospheric refraction and delays. The concept could be tested immediately with two or all telescopes of the ESO VLT and/or with the two apertures of the LBT! LBT would provide essential (almost) zero-delay information. MAGIC I+II on the Roque is also a very attractive possibility. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  31. 4 - Clocks and Detectors A few words now about clocks and detectors. There is a substantial difference, which applies both to clocks and to detectors, between the astronomical applications and other applications such as nuclear physics, laser ranging, laboratory correlation spectroscopy etc: we require a continuous functioning, no room for signal gating, coincidences, integrations etc. The photons from the celestial source will arrive when they want! Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  32. Time Distribution among two distant telescopes • The existing GPS and probably also the future Galileo fall short of the needed precision (say 100 ps or better). • The problem of distributing a very precise and extremely well synchronized time among distant observers is bound to become easier and easier in the next years. • VLBI indeed is not the only science requiring this accurate time: terrestrial and interplanetary communications will act as a most powerful driver . Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  33. An example of very accurate time distribution – feasible today A proposed ESA system: Only one master clock is needed on the ground (courtesy of Carlo Gavazzi Space) Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  34. Far Future: Distribution of entangled photons QIPS: Weinfurter, Zeilinger, Rarity, Barbieri. ESA Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  35. The Harrison Project In the frame of a large contract with the Galileo Navigation Satellite System managed by the Consortium Torino Time, we have recently granted some funding with the following objectives Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  36. DETECTORS Inside Quanteye, we performed a market survey for detectors suitable for High-Time-Resolution Astrophysics & Quantum Optic, such as PMTs, Streak Cameras, Hybrid Photo Detectors, Avalanche Photodiodes etc. and available in 2004-2005. The technology is rapidly advancing, especially under the push of telecommunications, in particular of quantum cryptography. We selected for that study, and for the precursor for Asiago a Single Photon Avalanche Photodiode (SPAD) produced in Italy by MPD. Other products are now available, from SENS-L in Ireland, id-Quantique in Suisse, The Czeck Technical University in Prage, the Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State in Munich, etc. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  37. MPD SPADs Our detector is the Single Photon Avalanche Photodiode (SPAD)from MPD,originally developed by Prof. S. Cova in Milano, and used already in several AdOpt devices in Italy (LBT) and at ESO. One advantage is the low cost. The active area is 50 micrometers. Four devices have been acquired. Cons: no CCD- type array, 70 nsecond dead time Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  38. 5 - QuantEYE for the 100m OWL - 1 The baseline solution of focal reducer plus 10x10 lenslet array. The focus of each lenset is brought to a distributed array of 10x10 SPADs. The filters are inserted in the parallel beam. A number of very narrow ( 1 A) bandpass filters, 4 linear polarizers, a number of broad band filters (e.g. BVRI) were considered. Quanteye thus behaves as a fixed-aperture, non-imaging photometer. The 10x10 outputs are stored in separate memories and can be analyzed in a variety of modes. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  39. The electronics of Quanteye The arrival time ofeach photon is acquired and stored. An on-line correlator allows real time control of the observation. An asynchronous post processing guarantees data integrity for future scientific investigation. The huge amount of data can be handled by present-day technology. For example, a run of 1 minute at 1 GHz produces 3 TBytes per head; existing hard drives of 300 GBytes for each of the 25 lines insure two such runs before reading out the data. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  40. The overall design of Quanteye Two reading heads (one fixed on the optical axis, one moving over the scientific field to point a reference star), a real time cross-correlator, a large storage unit, and a clock (e.g. a Hydrogen Maser unit). Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  41. The photometric capabilities of Quanteye Quantum Optics mode: full 100m OWL aperture, 6 mirrors, no integration allowed, 1 A wide filter, SPAD QE = 0.4 at 540 nm, 1 linear polarizer, dark = 100 c/s correspondent to V = 13.9 T(2), T(3) = indicative time needed to detect deviations from Poisson distribution of 2 or 3 simultaneous photons. The Table is a vivid illustration that Quantum Astronomy needs the largest possible collector! In a more conventional broad band High Time Resolution Astrophysics, Quanteye would be the fastest photometer, with an exceptionally high dynamic range (more than 25 mag, from the 5th to the 30th). It could also reproduce 10x10 telescopes observing the star in 10x10 colors, polarization states, etc Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  42. 6 - AQUEYE Aqueye (the Asiago Quantum Eye) is being built for the 182 cm Copernicus Telescope at Cima Ekar as a proof-of-concept instrument with very limited resources. Aqueye will act as a single-aperture photometer with a FoV of 3” (slightly worse than the average seeing). Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  43. AFOSC We are making the best use of the exisiting AFOSC imaging spectrograph, which already provides an intermediate pupil. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  44. The optical design of Aqueye - 1 The pupil is sub-divided in 4 sub-apertures. The lenses are low cost commercial devices. The pyramid is custum built. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  45. The optical design of Aqueye - 2 Optical performances are very good at all wavelengths from 420 to 750 nm. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  46. The Mechanical Design of Aqueye One can use the filters of AFOSC, or insert 4 different filters and polarizers in the parallel section of each beam after the pyramid. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  47. Electronics with commercial boards The selected commercial boards are used in nuclear physics applications. Max output rate = 10 Mhz Typical rate = 100 Khz SPAD precision = 30 ps 0 PC Controller TDC CAEN SPAD 0 1 PXI o VME Optionally: Optical Bridge 2 3 SPAD 3 DATA BUS External ref. (input) Clock External Storage 10 Mhz clock (output) Under Investigation In the frame of the Harrison project GPS/GALILEO Receiver Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  48. The detector system on the bench From right to left: Two SPADs connected to the VME-TDC unit, the dedicated PC, the 1 TeraByte storage unit, the PC screen Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  49. Quantum Algorithms QuantEYE (and even Aqueye) would generate enormous, multidimensional (color, polarization) data strings.Quantum algorithms could prove advantageous over classical methods, especially if the quantum computer materializes in the near future. This computational task is one our planned activities inside the Engineering Dept.. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique

  50. Expected photometric capabilities of Aqueye for HTRA 1.82 m aperture divided in 4 channels, 2 mirrors+pyramid+ 4 lenses + 200 A filter at 50% transmission, no polarizer.SPAD: QE = 0.45 a 550 nm, dark = 50 c/s = V 16.0 star, V = 19 mag/(arcsec)2 star, FoV 3 arcsec  Vsky = 17.3. Vega (V=0) at Zenith: 800 phcm-2s-1 A-1. This table shows the performances for eanch individual SPAD. Given that the dead time is 70 ns, the linear regime starts at V = 2.5, and ends around the 16th dark counts dominate). By conbning the 4 channels with proper statistical analysis we could do certainly better. Liege Inst. d'Astrophysique