Abstract

In a previous article [Astron. Astrophys. 561, A118 (2014)], we suggested a method to overcome the diffraction limit behind a telescope. We discuss and extend recent numerical simulations and test whether it is indeed possible to use photon amplification to enhance the angular resolution of a telescope or a microscope beyond the diffraction limit. An essential addition is the proposal to select events with an above-average ratio of stimulated to spontaneous photons. The analysis shows that the diffraction limit of a telescope is surpassed by a factor of 10 for an amplifier gain of 200, if the analysis is restricted to a tenth of the incoming astronomical photons. A gain of 70 is sufficient with a hundredth of the photons. More simulations must be performed to account for the bunching of spontaneous photons.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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