16 April 2010 Quantum astronomy with Iqueye
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Iqueye is a high speed astronomical photon counting device, tested at the ESO 3.5 m New Technology Telescope in La Silla (Chile). The optics splits the telescope pupil into four portions each feeding a Single Photon Avalanche Diode. A time-to-digital converter board time tags the pulses from the 4 channels, and the times sent to a storage device. The instrument is capable of running continuously up to a rate of 8 MHz, with an absolute rms accuracy better that 0.5 ns. The time is obtained by means of a rubidium clock referenced to UTC through the GPS signal. The paper describes the analysis performed on data taken on bright stars in order to perform 'quantum-like' measurements in the photon stream, namely the calculation of the second-order correlation functions g(2)(x,0) and g(2)(0,t). To this end, an ad hoc software correlator has been developed. Taking advantage of the pupil-splitting concept, the calculation of g(2)(x,0) has been made between the sub-apertures of the telescope, as a first step to verify the zero-baseline correlation coefficient in an Hanbury-Brown Twiss intensity interferometer [1]. Our experiment demonstrates the value of an Iqueye-like instrument applied to larger telescopes, like the four 8 m VLTs or the two 10m Keck telescopes, and even more the sub-pupils of the future 42 m E-ELT for a novel exploitation of the photon stream from celestial objects.
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I. Capraro, I. Capraro, C. Barbieri, C. Barbieri, G. Naletto, G. Naletto, T. Occhipinti, T. Occhipinti, E. Verroi, E. Verroi, P. Zoccarato, P. Zoccarato, S. Gradari, S. Gradari, } "Quantum astronomy with Iqueye", Proc. SPIE 7702, Quantum Information and Computation VIII, 77020M (16 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.849542; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.849542

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