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Palacký University
09-12-2013, 13:10, Age: 11 y.

Breakthrough in Optical Measurements: Olomouc Scientist Uses Conventional Light

By: Lenka Skácelíková

Miroslav Ježek in the Laboratory of Quantum Optics and Quantum Informatics

Miroslav Ježek from the Department of Optics at the Palacký University Faculty of Science has set new standards for the evaluation of superresolution in optical metrology. His research has opened the door to new metrological methods.

The collaboration of Dr. Ježek with a Danish team brought an unexpected result: “Multiple enhancement in the resolution does not require quantum related states, yet it can only be achieved by the use of lasers and practically without an impact on the measurement indefiniteness,” said Ježek. He presented the method for increasing the resolution of optical measurements in the prestigious scientific journal Physical Review Letters together with his colleagues from the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby.

The advantage of the new method is in achieving a higher resolution by employing “conventional” light, for instance from a laser pointing device, without using quantum states of light. Those states may also be employed for achieving superresolution, but only under ideal conditions (not degraded by loss or noise).

Hundreds of nanometres matter

Resolution is an important measurement parameter in every area of science and technology. In many applications, as well as in basic research, the measurement of variables is converted into a notation of the number of oscillations of light.

 “In case of visible light, we speak of hundreds of nanometres, that is, ten thousandths of a millimetre. Some applications have overcome this limitation by using signals with a shorter wave length, for example X-rays or accelerated electrons,” added Ježek.

Another solution was provided by quantum optics: the utilisation of quantum related states of the elementary light particles (photons) yielded in achieving finer, more frequent fringes within one period, which consequently resulted in the multiple enhancement of resolution. However, quantum related states are very sensitive and prone to losing their advantages extremely easily.

Interferometric optical phase

The article in the prestigious scientific journal deals with the subject of reaching higher resolution (superresolution, or SR) by means of an optical interferometer. It can be used for conversion of a number of other measurements such as length, vibrations, force, and optical qualities of a substance including density, refraction index, and substance concentration.

Ježek has elaborated the method along with the team of Professor Ulrik Andersen from Denmark. The collaboration has been supported by the International Centre for Information and Uncertainty, which is a joint project of the Departments of Optics and Informatics at the Faculty of Science, Palacký University, Olomouc.

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Last update: 19. 09. 2012, Vladimír Kubák