Quantum Telescope Update

So, I was thinking a bit about how this is supposed to work. Also, I started reading the academic paper that Kellerer wrote on the topic:


She’s not messing with the diffraction limit of the photons, cloned or otherwise. However, if the photons come in one at a time, then you can see each Airy disc (and an image of the entire disc (N photons drawn from the disk distribution), not just a single point drawn at random from the disc) produced by the cloned photons independently of the any other photons from the star. This deconvolves everything in the image. You can then take some average or moment of your disc to recover the center with greater accuracy, improving your angular resolution.

This could be a very big advance in astronomy. For years, what we could resolve was limited by the aperture of the optical system. To resolve something like an extrasolar planet, baselines or primary mirror diameters of hundreds of miles are needed – the sort of baselines that were planned for telescope constellations such as Terrestrial Planet Finder.

If we could increase by some multiple factor the angular resolution of a telescope, we might be able to someday image extrasolar planets with mirrors that aren’t too big to be physically feasable, or in single systems without the need to orchestrate large distributed aperture constellations.

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