Abstract

We present a detailed quantum-statistical model of multimode far-infrared and submillimeter-wave astronomical interferometers. The scheme identifies explicitly the optical modes associated with each telescope and uses these to trace the quantum-statistical properties of the field from a source through the telescopes, through the beam combiners, and onto the detectors. The scheme can be used with any optical configuration, and elegant expressions result for the average rate at which photons are detected by the pixels of an imaging array, the mean-square fluctuations in the rates, and the correlations between the fluctuations in the rates of different pixels. Numerous extensions to the basic technique are possible.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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