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Temporal intensity interferometry: photon bunching in three bright stars

Abstract : We report the first intensity correlation measured with star light since Hanbury Brown and Twiss' historical experiments. The photon bunching g (2) (τ, r = 0), obtained in the photon counting regime, was measured for 3 bright stars, α Boo, α CMi, and β Gem. The light was collected at the focal plane of a 1 m optical telescope, was transported by a multi-mode optical fiber, split into two avalanche photodiodes and digitally correlated in real-time. For total exposure times of a few hours, we obtained contrast values around 2 × 10 −3 , in agreement with the expectation for chaotic sources, given the optical and electronic bandwidths of our setup. Comparing our results with the measurement of Hanbury Brown et al. on α CMi, we argue for the timely opportunity to extend our experiments to measuring the spatial correlation function over existing and/or foreseen arrays of optical telescopes diluted over several kilometers. This would enable µas long-baseline interferometry in the optical, especially in the visible wavelengths with a limiting magnitude of 10.
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Contributor : William Guerin <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 3:37:36 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, December 5, 2020 - 5:16:04 PM

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W Guerin, A. Dussaux, M. Fouché, G. Labeyrie, J.-P. Rivet, et al.. Temporal intensity interferometry: photon bunching in three bright stars. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy P - Oxford Open Option A, 2017, 472 (4), pp.4126 - 4132. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stx2143⟩. ⟨hal-01902501⟩



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