Distance sensitivity of thermal light second-order interference beyond spatial coherence

Francesco Pepe, Giovanni Scala, Gabriele Chilleri, Danilo Triggiani, Yoon-Ho Kim, Vincenzo Tamma*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We demonstrate the distance sensitivity of thermal light second-order interference beyond spatial coherence. This kind of interference, emerging from the measurement of the correlation between intensity fluctuations on two detectors, is sensitive to the distances separating a remote mask from the source and the detector, even when such information cannot be retrieved by first-order intensity measurements. We show how the sensitivity to such distances is intimately connected to the degree of correlation of the measured interference pattern in different experimental scenarios and independently of the spectral properties of light. Remarkably, in specific configurations, sensitivity to the distances of remote objects can be preserved even in the presence of turbulence. Unlike in previous schemes, such a distance sensitivity is reflected in the fundamental emergence of new critical parameters which benchmark the degree of second-order correlation, describing the counterintuitive emergence of spatial second-order interference not only in the absence of (first-order) coherence at both detectors but also when first-order interference is observed at one of the two detectors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number647
Number of pages10
JournalThe European Physical Journal Plus
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


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