Getting sharp images from dull detectors

10 octubre 2014

Observing the quantum behavior of light is a big part of Alan Migdall’s research at the Joint Quantum Institute. Many of his experiments depend on observing light in the form of photons — the particle complement of light waves — and sometimes only one photon at a time, using «smart» detectors that can count the number of individual photons in a pulse. Furthermore, to observe quantum effects, it is normally necessary to use a beam of coherent light, light for which knowing the phase or intensity for one part of the beam allows you to know things about distant parts of the same beam.