9 July 2018 Intensity interferometry revival on the Côte d’Azur
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Recent advances in photonics have revived the interest in intensity interferometry for astronomical applications. The success of amplitude interferometry in the early 1970s, which is now mature and producing spectacular astrophysical results (e.g. GRAVITY, MATISSE, CHARA, etc.), coupled with the limited sensitivity of intensity interferometry stalled any progress on this technique for the past 50 years. However, the precise control of the optical path difference in amplitude interferometry is constraining for very long baselines and at shorter wavelengths. Polarization measurements are also challenging in amplitude interferometry due to instrumental effects. The fortuitous presence of strong groups in astronomical interferometry and quantum optics at Université Côte d’Azur led to the development of a prototype experiment at Calern Observatory, allowing the measure of the temporal correlation g(2)(τ, r=0) in 2016 and of the spatial correlation g(2)(r) in 2017 with a gain in sensitivity (normalized in observing time and collecting area) of a factor ~100 compared to Hanbury Brown and Twiss’s original Narrabri Interferometer. We present possible ways to further develop this technique and point to. possible implementations on existing facilities, such as CTA, the VLTI ATs or the summit of Maunakea, which offer a unique scientific niche.
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Olivier Lai, Olivier Lai, William Guerin, William Guerin, Farrokh Vakili, Farrokh Vakili, Robin Kaiser, Robin Kaiser, Jean Pierre Rivet, Jean Pierre Rivet, Mathilde Fouché, Mathilde Fouché, Guillaume Labeyrie, Guillaume Labeyrie, Julien Chabé, Julien Chabé, Clément Courde, Clément Courde, Etienne Samain, Etienne Samain, David Vernet, David Vernet, "Intensity interferometry revival on the Côte d’Azur", Proc. SPIE 10701, Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging VI, 1070121 (9 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2309491; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2309491

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