How many photons does it take to form an image?

Johnson, S. D. , Moreau, P.-A. , Gregory, T. and Padgett, M. J. (2020) How many photons does it take to form an image? Applied Physics Letters, 116(26), 260504. (doi: 10.1063/5.0009493)

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Abstract

If a picture tells a thousand words, then we might ask ourselves how many photons does it take to form a picture? In terms of the transmission of the picture information, then the multiple degrees of freedom (e.g., wavelength, polarization, and spatial mode) of the photon mean that high amounts of information can be encoded such that the many pixel values of an image can, in principle, be communicated by a single photon. However, the number of photons required to transmit the image information is not necessarily, at least technically, the same as the number of photons required to image an object. Therefore, another equally important question is how many photons does it take to measure an unknown image?

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnson, Dr Steven and Gregory, Mr Thomas and Moreau, Dr Paul-Antoine and Padgett, Professor Miles
Authors: Johnson, S. D., Moreau, P.-A., Gregory, T., and Padgett, M. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Applied Physics Letters
Publisher:AIP Publishing
ISSN:0003-6951
ISSN (Online):1077-3118
Published Online:02 July 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 AIP Publishing
First Published:First published in Applied Physics Letters 2020
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
190841UK Quantum Technology Hub in Enhanced Quantum ImagingMiles PadgettEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M01326X/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy
169636Twists and more: the complex shape of lightMiles PadgettEuropean Research Council (ERC)340507P&S - Physics & Astronomy
303289Quantum technologies in high dimensionPaul-Antoine MoreauLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHUL)ECF-2018-634P&S - Physics & Astronomy
172865EPSRC DTP 16/17 and 17/18Tania GalabovaEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N509668/1Research and Innovation Services