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Proceedings Paper

QuantEYE: a quantum optics instrument for extremely large telescopes
Author(s): Giampiero Naletto; Cesare Barbieri; Dainis Dravins; Tommaso Occhipinti; Fabrizio Tamburini; Vania Da Deppo; Sonia Fornasier; Mauro D'Onofrio; Robert A. E. Fosbury; Ricky Nilsson; Helena Uthas; Luca Zampieri
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Paper Abstract

We have carried out a conceptual study for an instrument (QuantEYE) capable to detect and measure photon-stream statistics, e.g. power spectra or autocorrelation functions. Such functions increase with the square of the detected signal, implying an enormously increased sensitivity at the future Extremely Large Telescopes, such as the OverWhelmingly Large (OWL) telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Furthermore, QuantEYE will have the capability of exploring astrophysical variability on microsecond and nanosecond scales, down to the quantum-optical limit. Expected observable phenomena include instabilities of photon-gas bubbles in accretion flows, p-mode oscillations in neutron stars, and quantum-optical photon bunching in time. This paper describes QuantEYE, an instrument aimed to realize the just described science, proposed for installation at the ESO OWL telescope focal plane. The adopted optical solution is relatively simple and possible with actual technologies, the main constraint essentially being the present limited availability of very fast photon counting detector arrays. Also some possible alternative designs are described, assuming a future technology development of fast photon counting detector arrays.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 June 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6269, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy, 62691W (29 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.671184
Show Author Affiliations
Giampiero Naletto, Univ. of Padova (Italy)
Cesare Barbieri, Univ. of Padova (Italy)
Dainis Dravins, Lund Observatory (Sweden)
Tommaso Occhipinti, Univ. of Padova (Italy)
Fabrizio Tamburini, Univ. of Padova (Italy)
Vania Da Deppo, CNR-INFM-LUXOR, Univ. of Padova (Italy)
Sonia Fornasier, Univ. of Padova (Italy)
Mauro D'Onofrio, Univ. of Padova (Italy)
Robert A. E. Fosbury, Space Telescope, European Coordinating Facility and European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Ricky Nilsson, Lund Observatory (Sweden)
Helena Uthas, Lund Observatory (Sweden)
Luca Zampieri, INAF, Padova Astronomical Observatory (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6269:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy
Ian S. McLean; Masanori Iye, Editor(s)

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