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Ghost imaging in the time domain


Ghost imaging is a novel technique that produces the image of an object by correlating the intensity of two light beams, neither of which independently carries information about the shape of the object1,2. Ghost imaging has opened up new perspectives to obtain highly resolved images3, even in the presence of noise and turbulence4. Here, by exploiting the duality between light propagation in space and time5, we demonstrate the temporal analogue of ghost imaging. We use a conventional fast detector that does not see the temporal ‘object’ to be characterized and a slow integrating ‘bucket’ detector that does see the object but without resolving its temporal structure. Our experiments achieve temporal resolution at the picosecond level and are insensitive to the temporal distortion that may occur after the object. The approach is scalable, can be integrated on-chip, and offers great promise for dynamic imaging of ultrafast waveforms.

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Figure 1: Comparison of spatial and temporal ghost imaging experimental set-ups.
Figure 2: Measured intensity fluctuations of the multimode laser source.
Figure 3: Comparison of ghost image and direct image measured with the fast detector.
Figure 4: Ghost image as a function of number of realizations and effective fluctuation time.
Figure 5: Comparison of ghost image and direct image in the presence of strong dispersion experienced by the object when a multimode fibre is added between the EOM and the detector.


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G.G. and A.T.F. acknowledge support from the Academy of Finland (projects 267576 and 268480). J.M.D. acknowledges support from ERC project MULTIWAVE. The Optoelectronics Research Centre, Tampere University of Technology is also thanked for the loan of the pulse pattern generator.

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Authors and Affiliations



G.G. and A.T.F. conceived the original idea. P.R. and M.B. constructed the experimental set-up and conducted all the experiments. G.G. designed the experiments and supervised the project. P.R., M.B., J.M.D. and G.G. performed the data analysis. All authors discussed the results and contributed to writing the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Goëry Genty.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Ryczkowski, P., Barbier, M., Friberg, A. et al. Ghost imaging in the time domain. Nature Photon 10, 167–170 (2016).

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