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Together with his former colleagues from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, ACP principal scientist Ulf Peschel has just published an original research article titled "Hanbury Brown and Twiss measurements in curved space" in Nature Photonics (advance online publication, doi:10.1038/nphoton.2015.244) - congratulations!

Abstract: When Hanbury Brown and Twiss (HBT) proposed their technique of intensity correlation measurements to examine the angular size of stars in the visible range, they challenged the common conception of quantum mechanics and kicked off a discussion that led to the establishment of quantum optics. In this Letter we revisit this fundamental technique and study its implications in the presence of space curvature. To this end we theoretically and experimentally investigate the evolution of speckle patterns propagating along two-dimensional surfaces of constant positive and negative Gaussian curvature, defying the notion that light always gains spatial coherence during free-space propagation. We also discuss the measurability of the traversed space's curvature utilizing HBT from an inhabitant's point of view. Through their symmetry, surfaces with constant Gaussian curvature act as analogue models for universes possessing non-vanishing cosmological constants.


The figure shows how a laser beam propagates in the experiment along the two-dimensional surface of an hourglass-shaped glass figure and thereby overcomes even the figure waist. This figure is an example of a negatively curved surface (similar to e.g. a saddle), as opposed to a positively curved surface, such as that of a sphere.a

>> link to the full article

>> link to the press release issued by the Friedrich Schiller University

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