Talk:Intensity interferometer

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mechanism unclearEdit

It remains entirely unclear what the exact mechanism of such an interferomter is. It is mentioned (at two different points in the text) that correlations of the intesity of two or more beams are used. Still it remains unclear how these correlations need to be processed. (talk) 11:27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


The first line in the article defines intensity interferometry: An intensity interferometer is the name given to devices that use the Hanbury-Brown and Twiss effect. If one then goes to the Hanbury-Brown and Twiss effect page: The Hanbury Brown and Twiss effect (HBT) is any of a variety of correlation and anti-correlation effects in the intensities received by two detectors from a beam of particles. HBT effects can generally be attributed to the dual wave-particle nature of the beam.

To me it seems that intensity interferometry is a wider concept not necessarily related to the wave particle nature of anything. One can do intensity interferometry between two perfectly classical waves, to be practical for example two beams satisfying the kT/hω>>1 condition, meaning the noise part of the signal which would make the correlation possible could be not quantum mechanical in origin, i.e. independent from the value of Plank's constant h. I believe one should go to a more formal way of defining " intensity interferometry " which goes back to the definitions of both words. It would certainly be a good idea because I don't know of any textbook which does this.