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The image quality in ghost imaging is vital in practical applications. Through theoretical analysis, we find that for thermal light the average intensity as well as the fluctuations of an arbitrary incident field can greatly influence the image quality. Based on this, we suggest an easily realizable scheme to improve the visibility by generating speckles of non-Gaussian intensity distributions with a spatial light modulator. Numerical simulation demonstrates that this method can significantly improve the visibility, and the effect on the imaging resolution is also discussed. This method may thus be helpful in promoting the implementation of ghost imaging in real applications.


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