Amplitude interferometry and intensity interferometry are methods for processing the complex amplitude and the intensity, respectively, of an electromagnetic field to estimate the mutual intensity of the field at two spatial locations. Whereas complex amplitude measurements allow for the direct estimation of the mutual-intensity phase, intensity measurements do not. We consider applications for which the estimation of the magnitude or the squared magnitude of the mutual intensity is adequate, and we provide fundamental limits on the estimation accuracy of any unbiased estimator of the squared magnitude of the mutual intensity from coherent (complex amplitude) or incoherent (intensity) measurements. Our analysis is performed for the high-light-level (classical-noise-limit) case and quantifies the advantages of making the more difficult coherent measurements.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: February 21, 1997
Revised Manuscript: October 1, 1997
Manuscript Accepted: December 19, 1997
Published: June 1, 1998
Timothy J. Schulz and Neeraj K. Gupta, "Performance bounds for high-light-level amplitude and intensity interferometry," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 15, 1619-1625 (1998)