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Quantum limit to subdiffraction incoherent optical imaging
preprintposted on 2023-11-30, 05:50 authored by Mankei Tsang
The application of quantum estimation theory to the problem of imaging two incoherent point sources has recently led to new insights and better measurements for incoherent imaging and spectroscopy. To establish a more general limit beyond the case of two sources, here I evaluate a quantum bound on the Fisher information that can be extracted by any far-field optical measurement about the moments of a subdiffraction object. The bound matches the performance of a spatial-mode-demultiplexing (SPADE) measurement scheme in terms of its scaling with the object size, indicating that SPADE is close to quantum-optimal. Coincidentally, the result is also applicable to the estimation of diffusion parameters with a quantum probe subject to random displacements.