Abstract

By exploiting the quantised nature of light, we demonstrate a sub-shot-noise scanning optical transmittance microscope. Our microscope demonstrates, with micron scale resolution, a factor of improvement in precision of 1.76(9) in transmittance estimation gained per probe photon relative to the theoretical model, a shot-noise-limited source of light, in an equivalent single-pass classical version of the same experiment using the same number of photons detected with a 90$\%$ efficient detector. This would allow us to observe photosensitive samples with nearly twice the precision, without sacrificing image resolution or increasing optical power to improve signal-to-noise ratio. Our setup uses correlated twin-beams produced by parametric down-conversion, and a hybrid detection scheme comprising photon-counting-based feed-forward and a highly efficient CCD camera.

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References

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  28. Disclaimer: Commercial equipment, instruments or materials are identified in this report to foster understanding. Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply that the materials or equipment are necessarily the best available for the purpose.
  29. N. M. Phan, M. F. Cheng, D. A. Bessarab, and L. A. Krivitsky, “Interaction of fixed number of photons with retinal rod cells,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 112(21), 213601 (2014).
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    [Crossref]

2018 (1)

M. Li, C.-L. Zou, D. Liu, G.-P. Guo, G.-C. Guo, and X.-F. Ren, “Enhanced absorption microscopy with correlated photon pairs,” Phys. Rev. A 98(1), 012121 (2018).
[Crossref]

2017 (5)

N. Samantaray, I. Ruo-Berchera, A. Meda, and M. Genovese, “Realization of the first sub-shot-noise wide field microscope,” Light: Sci. Appl. 6(7), e17005 (2017).
[Crossref]

S. Slussarenko, M. M. Weston, H. M. Chrzanowski, L. K. Shalm, V. B. Verma, S. W. Nam, and G. J. Pryde, “Unconditional violation of the shot-noise limit in photonic quantum metrology,” Nat. Photonics 11(11), 700–703 (2017).
[Crossref]

R. Whittaker, C. Erven, A. Neville, M. Berry, J. O’Brien, H. Cable, and J. Matthews, “Absorption spectroscopy at the ultimate quantum limit from single-photon states,” New J. Phys. 19(2), 023013 (2017).
[Crossref]

P.-A. Moreau, J. Sabines-Chesterking, R. Whittaker, S. K. Joshi, P. M. Birchall, A. McMillan, J. G. Rarity, and J. C. Matthews, “Demonstrating an absolute quantum advantage in direct absorption measurement,” Sci. Rep. 7(1), 6256 (2017).
[Crossref]

J. Sabines-Chesterking, R. Whittaker, S. Joshi, P. Birchall, P. Moreau, A. McMillan, H. Cable, J. O’Brien, J. Rarity, and J. Matthews, “Sub-shot-noise transmission measurement enabled by active feed-forward of heralded single photons,” Phys. Rev. Appl. 8(1), 014016 (2017).
[Crossref]

2016 (5)

U. L. Andersen, T. Gehring, C. Marquardt, and G. Leuchs, “30 years of squeezed light generation,” Phys. Scr. 91(5), 053001 (2016).
[Crossref]

T. Juffmann, B. B. Klopfer, T. L. Frankort, P. Haslinger, and M. A. Kasevich, “Multi-pass microscopy,” Nat. Commun. 7(1), 12858 (2016).
[Crossref]

T. S. Iskhakov, V. C. Usenko, U. L. Andersen, R. Filip, M. V. Chekhova, and G. Leuchs, “Heralded source of bright multi-mode mesoscopic sub-poissonian light,” Opt. Lett. 41(10), 2149–2152 (2016).
[Crossref]

M. A. Taylor and W. P. Bowen, “Quantum metrology and its application in biology,” Phys. Rep. 615, 1–59 (2016).
[Crossref]

M. Genovese, “Real applications of quantum imaging,” J. Opt. 18(7), 073002 (2016).
[Crossref]

2014 (3)

G. B. Lemos, V. Borish, G. D. Cole, S. Ramelow, R. Lapkiewicz, and A. Zeilinger, “Quantum imaging with undetected photons,” Nature 512(7515), 409–412 (2014).
[Crossref]

Y. Israel, S. Rosen, and Y. Silberberg, “Supersensitive polarization microscopy using noon states of light,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 112(10), 103604 (2014).
[Crossref]

N. M. Phan, M. F. Cheng, D. A. Bessarab, and L. A. Krivitsky, “Interaction of fixed number of photons with retinal rod cells,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 112(21), 213601 (2014).
[Crossref]

2013 (2)

F. Marsili, V. B. Verma, J. A. Stern, S. Harrington, A. E. Lita, T. Gerrits, I. Vayshenker, B. Baek, M. D. Shaw, R. P. Mirin, and S. W. Nam, “Detecting single infrared photons with 93% system efficiency,” Nat. Photonics 7(3), 210–214 (2013).
[Crossref]

T. Ono, R. Okamoto, and S. Takeuchi, “An entanglement-enhanced microscope,” Nat. Commun. 4(1), 2426 (2013).
[Crossref]

2012 (1)

G. Brida, I. Degiovanni, M. Genovese, F. Piacentini, P. Traina, A. Della Frera, A. Tosi, A. Bahgat Shehata, C. Scarcella, S. Gulinatti, M Ghioni, A. Polyakov, and A. G. Migdall, “An extremely low-noise heralded single-photon source: A breakthrough for quantum technologies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(22), 221112 (2012).
[Crossref]

2010 (1)

G. Brida, M. Genovese, and I. Rou Berchera, “Experimental realization of sub-shot-noise quantum imaging,” Nat. Photonics 4(4), 227–230 (2010).
[Crossref]

2009 (2)

V. Giovannetti, S. Lloyd, L. Maccone, and J. H. Shapiro, “Sub-rayleigh-diffraction-bound quantum imaging,” Phys. Rev. A 79(1), 013827 (2009).
[Crossref]

G. Adesso, F. Dell’Anno, S. De Siena, F. Illuminati, and L. A. M. Souza, “Optimal estimation of losses at the ultimate quantum limit with non-gaussian states,” Phys. Rev. A 79(4), 040305 (2009).
[Crossref]

2003 (1)

N. Treps, N. Grosse, W. P. Bowen, C. Fabre, H.-A. Bachor, and P. K. Lam, “A quantum laser pointer,” Science 301(5635), 940–943 (2003).
[Crossref]

1990 (1)

W. H. Richardson and R. M. Shelby, “Nonclassical light from a semiconductor laser operating at 4 k,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 64(4), 400–403 (1990).
[Crossref]

1987 (2)

S. Machida, Y. Yamamoto, and Y. Itaya, “Observation of amplitude squeezing in a constant-current–driven semiconductor laser,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 58(10), 1000–1003 (1987).
[Crossref]

A. Heidmann, R. Horowicz, S. Reynaud, E. Giacobino, C. Fabre, and G. Camy, “Observation of quantum noise reduction on twin laser beams,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59(22), 2555–2557 (1987).
[Crossref]

1986 (2)

E. Jakeman and J. G. Rarity, “The use of pair production processes to reduce quantum noise in transmission measurements,” Opt. Commun. 59(3), 219–223 (1986).
[Crossref]

C. Hong and L. Mandel, “Experimental realization of a localized one-photon state,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 56(1), 58–60 (1986).
[Crossref]

1985 (1)

M. Levenson, R. Shelby, A. Aspect, M. Reid, and D. Walls, “Generation and detection of squeezed states of light by nondegenerate four-wave mixing in an optical fiber,” Phys. Rev. A 32(3), 1550–1562 (1985).
[Crossref]

1980 (1)

D. Klyshko, “Use of two-photon light for absolute calibration of photoelectric detectors,” Sov. J. Quantum Electron. 10(9), 1112–1117 (1980).
[Crossref]

Adesso, G.

G. Adesso, F. Dell’Anno, S. De Siena, F. Illuminati, and L. A. M. Souza, “Optimal estimation of losses at the ultimate quantum limit with non-gaussian states,” Phys. Rev. A 79(4), 040305 (2009).
[Crossref]

Andersen, U. L.

Aspect, A.

M. Levenson, R. Shelby, A. Aspect, M. Reid, and D. Walls, “Generation and detection of squeezed states of light by nondegenerate four-wave mixing in an optical fiber,” Phys. Rev. A 32(3), 1550–1562 (1985).
[Crossref]

Bachor, H.-A.

N. Treps, N. Grosse, W. P. Bowen, C. Fabre, H.-A. Bachor, and P. K. Lam, “A quantum laser pointer,” Science 301(5635), 940–943 (2003).
[Crossref]

Baek, B.

F. Marsili, V. B. Verma, J. A. Stern, S. Harrington, A. E. Lita, T. Gerrits, I. Vayshenker, B. Baek, M. D. Shaw, R. P. Mirin, and S. W. Nam, “Detecting single infrared photons with 93% system efficiency,” Nat. Photonics 7(3), 210–214 (2013).
[Crossref]

Bahgat Shehata, A.

G. Brida, I. Degiovanni, M. Genovese, F. Piacentini, P. Traina, A. Della Frera, A. Tosi, A. Bahgat Shehata, C. Scarcella, S. Gulinatti, M Ghioni, A. Polyakov, and A. G. Migdall, “An extremely low-noise heralded single-photon source: A breakthrough for quantum technologies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(22), 221112 (2012).
[Crossref]

Berry, M.

R. Whittaker, C. Erven, A. Neville, M. Berry, J. O’Brien, H. Cable, and J. Matthews, “Absorption spectroscopy at the ultimate quantum limit from single-photon states,” New J. Phys. 19(2), 023013 (2017).
[Crossref]

Bessarab, D. A.

N. M. Phan, M. F. Cheng, D. A. Bessarab, and L. A. Krivitsky, “Interaction of fixed number of photons with retinal rod cells,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 112(21), 213601 (2014).
[Crossref]

Birchall, P.

J. Sabines-Chesterking, R. Whittaker, S. Joshi, P. Birchall, P. Moreau, A. McMillan, H. Cable, J. O’Brien, J. Rarity, and J. Matthews, “Sub-shot-noise transmission measurement enabled by active feed-forward of heralded single photons,” Phys. Rev. Appl. 8(1), 014016 (2017).
[Crossref]

Birchall, P. M.

P.-A. Moreau, J. Sabines-Chesterking, R. Whittaker, S. K. Joshi, P. M. Birchall, A. McMillan, J. G. Rarity, and J. C. Matthews, “Demonstrating an absolute quantum advantage in direct absorption measurement,” Sci. Rep. 7(1), 6256 (2017).
[Crossref]

Borish, V.

G. B. Lemos, V. Borish, G. D. Cole, S. Ramelow, R. Lapkiewicz, and A. Zeilinger, “Quantum imaging with undetected photons,” Nature 512(7515), 409–412 (2014).
[Crossref]

Bowen, W. P.

M. A. Taylor and W. P. Bowen, “Quantum metrology and its application in biology,” Phys. Rep. 615, 1–59 (2016).
[Crossref]

N. Treps, N. Grosse, W. P. Bowen, C. Fabre, H.-A. Bachor, and P. K. Lam, “A quantum laser pointer,” Science 301(5635), 940–943 (2003).
[Crossref]

Brida, G.

G. Brida, I. Degiovanni, M. Genovese, F. Piacentini, P. Traina, A. Della Frera, A. Tosi, A. Bahgat Shehata, C. Scarcella, S. Gulinatti, M Ghioni, A. Polyakov, and A. G. Migdall, “An extremely low-noise heralded single-photon source: A breakthrough for quantum technologies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(22), 221112 (2012).
[Crossref]

G. Brida, M. Genovese, and I. Rou Berchera, “Experimental realization of sub-shot-noise quantum imaging,” Nat. Photonics 4(4), 227–230 (2010).
[Crossref]

Cable, H.

J. Sabines-Chesterking, R. Whittaker, S. Joshi, P. Birchall, P. Moreau, A. McMillan, H. Cable, J. O’Brien, J. Rarity, and J. Matthews, “Sub-shot-noise transmission measurement enabled by active feed-forward of heralded single photons,” Phys. Rev. Appl. 8(1), 014016 (2017).
[Crossref]

R. Whittaker, C. Erven, A. Neville, M. Berry, J. O’Brien, H. Cable, and J. Matthews, “Absorption spectroscopy at the ultimate quantum limit from single-photon states,” New J. Phys. 19(2), 023013 (2017).
[Crossref]

Camy, G.

A. Heidmann, R. Horowicz, S. Reynaud, E. Giacobino, C. Fabre, and G. Camy, “Observation of quantum noise reduction on twin laser beams,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59(22), 2555–2557 (1987).
[Crossref]

Chekhova, M. V.

Cheng, M. F.

N. M. Phan, M. F. Cheng, D. A. Bessarab, and L. A. Krivitsky, “Interaction of fixed number of photons with retinal rod cells,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 112(21), 213601 (2014).
[Crossref]

Chrzanowski, H. M.

S. Slussarenko, M. M. Weston, H. M. Chrzanowski, L. K. Shalm, V. B. Verma, S. W. Nam, and G. J. Pryde, “Unconditional violation of the shot-noise limit in photonic quantum metrology,” Nat. Photonics 11(11), 700–703 (2017).
[Crossref]

Cole, G. D.

G. B. Lemos, V. Borish, G. D. Cole, S. Ramelow, R. Lapkiewicz, and A. Zeilinger, “Quantum imaging with undetected photons,” Nature 512(7515), 409–412 (2014).
[Crossref]

De Siena, S.

G. Adesso, F. Dell’Anno, S. De Siena, F. Illuminati, and L. A. M. Souza, “Optimal estimation of losses at the ultimate quantum limit with non-gaussian states,” Phys. Rev. A 79(4), 040305 (2009).
[Crossref]

Degiovanni, I.

G. Brida, I. Degiovanni, M. Genovese, F. Piacentini, P. Traina, A. Della Frera, A. Tosi, A. Bahgat Shehata, C. Scarcella, S. Gulinatti, M Ghioni, A. Polyakov, and A. G. Migdall, “An extremely low-noise heralded single-photon source: A breakthrough for quantum technologies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(22), 221112 (2012).
[Crossref]

Dell’Anno, F.

G. Adesso, F. Dell’Anno, S. De Siena, F. Illuminati, and L. A. M. Souza, “Optimal estimation of losses at the ultimate quantum limit with non-gaussian states,” Phys. Rev. A 79(4), 040305 (2009).
[Crossref]

Della Frera, A.

G. Brida, I. Degiovanni, M. Genovese, F. Piacentini, P. Traina, A. Della Frera, A. Tosi, A. Bahgat Shehata, C. Scarcella, S. Gulinatti, M Ghioni, A. Polyakov, and A. G. Migdall, “An extremely low-noise heralded single-photon source: A breakthrough for quantum technologies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(22), 221112 (2012).
[Crossref]

Erven, C.

R. Whittaker, C. Erven, A. Neville, M. Berry, J. O’Brien, H. Cable, and J. Matthews, “Absorption spectroscopy at the ultimate quantum limit from single-photon states,” New J. Phys. 19(2), 023013 (2017).
[Crossref]

Fabre, C.

N. Treps, N. Grosse, W. P. Bowen, C. Fabre, H.-A. Bachor, and P. K. Lam, “A quantum laser pointer,” Science 301(5635), 940–943 (2003).
[Crossref]

A. Heidmann, R. Horowicz, S. Reynaud, E. Giacobino, C. Fabre, and G. Camy, “Observation of quantum noise reduction on twin laser beams,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59(22), 2555–2557 (1987).
[Crossref]

Filip, R.

Frankort, T. L.

T. Juffmann, B. B. Klopfer, T. L. Frankort, P. Haslinger, and M. A. Kasevich, “Multi-pass microscopy,” Nat. Commun. 7(1), 12858 (2016).
[Crossref]

Gehring, T.

U. L. Andersen, T. Gehring, C. Marquardt, and G. Leuchs, “30 years of squeezed light generation,” Phys. Scr. 91(5), 053001 (2016).
[Crossref]

Genovese, M.

N. Samantaray, I. Ruo-Berchera, A. Meda, and M. Genovese, “Realization of the first sub-shot-noise wide field microscope,” Light: Sci. Appl. 6(7), e17005 (2017).
[Crossref]

M. Genovese, “Real applications of quantum imaging,” J. Opt. 18(7), 073002 (2016).
[Crossref]

G. Brida, I. Degiovanni, M. Genovese, F. Piacentini, P. Traina, A. Della Frera, A. Tosi, A. Bahgat Shehata, C. Scarcella, S. Gulinatti, M Ghioni, A. Polyakov, and A. G. Migdall, “An extremely low-noise heralded single-photon source: A breakthrough for quantum technologies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(22), 221112 (2012).
[Crossref]

G. Brida, M. Genovese, and I. Rou Berchera, “Experimental realization of sub-shot-noise quantum imaging,” Nat. Photonics 4(4), 227–230 (2010).
[Crossref]

Gerrits, T.

F. Marsili, V. B. Verma, J. A. Stern, S. Harrington, A. E. Lita, T. Gerrits, I. Vayshenker, B. Baek, M. D. Shaw, R. P. Mirin, and S. W. Nam, “Detecting single infrared photons with 93% system efficiency,” Nat. Photonics 7(3), 210–214 (2013).
[Crossref]

Ghioni, M

G. Brida, I. Degiovanni, M. Genovese, F. Piacentini, P. Traina, A. Della Frera, A. Tosi, A. Bahgat Shehata, C. Scarcella, S. Gulinatti, M Ghioni, A. Polyakov, and A. G. Migdall, “An extremely low-noise heralded single-photon source: A breakthrough for quantum technologies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(22), 221112 (2012).
[Crossref]

Giacobino, E.

A. Heidmann, R. Horowicz, S. Reynaud, E. Giacobino, C. Fabre, and G. Camy, “Observation of quantum noise reduction on twin laser beams,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59(22), 2555–2557 (1987).
[Crossref]

Giovannetti, V.

V. Giovannetti, S. Lloyd, L. Maccone, and J. H. Shapiro, “Sub-rayleigh-diffraction-bound quantum imaging,” Phys. Rev. A 79(1), 013827 (2009).
[Crossref]

Grosse, N.

N. Treps, N. Grosse, W. P. Bowen, C. Fabre, H.-A. Bachor, and P. K. Lam, “A quantum laser pointer,” Science 301(5635), 940–943 (2003).
[Crossref]

Gulinatti, S.

G. Brida, I. Degiovanni, M. Genovese, F. Piacentini, P. Traina, A. Della Frera, A. Tosi, A. Bahgat Shehata, C. Scarcella, S. Gulinatti, M Ghioni, A. Polyakov, and A. G. Migdall, “An extremely low-noise heralded single-photon source: A breakthrough for quantum technologies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(22), 221112 (2012).
[Crossref]

Guo, G.-C.

M. Li, C.-L. Zou, D. Liu, G.-P. Guo, G.-C. Guo, and X.-F. Ren, “Enhanced absorption microscopy with correlated photon pairs,” Phys. Rev. A 98(1), 012121 (2018).
[Crossref]

Guo, G.-P.

M. Li, C.-L. Zou, D. Liu, G.-P. Guo, G.-C. Guo, and X.-F. Ren, “Enhanced absorption microscopy with correlated photon pairs,” Phys. Rev. A 98(1), 012121 (2018).
[Crossref]

Harrington, S.

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Appl. Phys. Lett. (1)

G. Brida, I. Degiovanni, M. Genovese, F. Piacentini, P. Traina, A. Della Frera, A. Tosi, A. Bahgat Shehata, C. Scarcella, S. Gulinatti, M Ghioni, A. Polyakov, and A. G. Migdall, “An extremely low-noise heralded single-photon source: A breakthrough for quantum technologies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(22), 221112 (2012).
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J. Opt. (1)

M. Genovese, “Real applications of quantum imaging,” J. Opt. 18(7), 073002 (2016).
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Light: Sci. Appl. (1)

N. Samantaray, I. Ruo-Berchera, A. Meda, and M. Genovese, “Realization of the first sub-shot-noise wide field microscope,” Light: Sci. Appl. 6(7), e17005 (2017).
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Nat. Commun. (2)

T. Ono, R. Okamoto, and S. Takeuchi, “An entanglement-enhanced microscope,” Nat. Commun. 4(1), 2426 (2013).
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T. Juffmann, B. B. Klopfer, T. L. Frankort, P. Haslinger, and M. A. Kasevich, “Multi-pass microscopy,” Nat. Commun. 7(1), 12858 (2016).
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Disclaimer: Commercial equipment, instruments or materials are identified in this report to foster understanding. Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply that the materials or equipment are necessarily the best available for the purpose.

D. F. Walls and G. J. Milburn, Quanutm Optics, 2nd Edition (Springer, 2008).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. Simulation of precision ratio using twin-beams and feed-forward. The plot compares Poisson-limited light (horizontal blue line at ratio of 1) to transmittance estimation with twin-beam strategies. The key refers to the different values of overall source Klyshko efficiency, which are symmetric for direct twin-beam exposure (dotted lines) and asymmetric for feed-forward (solid lines) due to the 15$\%$ loss in the switch and 10$\%$ leakage of unheralded photons.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. Experimental setup and its characterisation. a) Photon-pairs are generated by SPDC in a PPKTP crystal, feed-forward of the idler photons is implemented using a polarisation independent switch, as described in [24]. b) Precision ratio of transmittance between our setup and a theoretically ideal Poisson-limited light source measured with the same detection efficiency, (horizontal blue line at a ratio of 1, which corresponds to the shot-noise limit). Data points are the ratio between the variance of our transmittance estimate and the calculated variance of the same measurement for an ideal coherent state, at different levels of sample transmittance (red circles). Points above the blue line exhibit sub-shot-noise performance. Each point corresponds to 13 series of 40 measurements with an integration time of 1 s at a rate of 40000 counts per second. Error bars correspond to the experimental standard deviation of the mean from the different data series. c) Electron beam microscope image of the platinum deposited target used for resolution characterisation. d) Results of imaging the resolution target using correlated photon pairs (the colors correspond to different values of transmission).
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3. Experimental Results. a) Reference image of the sample, acquired with differential imaging and 1 mW of laser light passing through the sample. b) Noise-reduced image using correlated photon pairs at a rate of 40000 per second passing through the sample, which is equivalent to 20 fW of light passing through the sample. c) A differential image taken with a laser attenuated to the same rate of photons as used in b). Each image is 150 by 75 pixels. The step size of each pixel is 2 $\mu$m and the integration time per pixel for a) is 0.1 s and for b) and c) is 1 s. White regions correspond to low transmittance values that are below the scale.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 4. Multiple scanned image analysis a) A 14x26 pixels subsection of the object imaged in Fig. 3 in the vicinity of letter ”a”. The step size between pixels is 2 $\mu$m. Each pixel corresponds to the mean of 80 recorded measurements with an integration time of 1 s. The gradient between the left and right side of the image is due to slow drift in the source brightness. b) Histogram of the transmittance and expected precision ratio. The red vertical dashed lines corresponds to the mean transmittance $\eta =$0.911 and the bin width is 20.

Equations (4)

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η ^ S = η ^ P / η ^ {P'} = N C N R / N C N R .
Γ = η R / ( 1 η S η P ) .
Γ = Δ 2 η Coh / ( Δ 2 η Exp N P In ) .
N P IN = ( N P Det N DC ) / ( η Opt η ) .

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