OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 54, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 1964
  • pp: 482–485

Occurrence of Maximum Quantum and Thermal Detection Efficiencies Attainable with a Planckian Radiator

ALAN D. WILSON  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 54, Issue 4, pp. 482-485 (1964)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (588 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The occurrence of maximum quantum or thermal detection efficiency (defined here as the ratio of utilized photons or energy to the total emitted by a Planckian radiator) was determined theoretically as a function of the absorption edge and bandwidth of the detector, and the temperature of the Planckian radiator. It is assumed that the quantum or thermal efficiency of the detector is constant within the bandwidth in question and zero elsewhere. The application of the specific results derived here is limited to source-detector combinations where the source spectral energy or photon distribution approximates that of a Planckian radiator. A “noise level” and its effect on the efficiency are not considered in the present analysis. The outcome of the analysis is a series of “displacement laws” which are similar to the Wien displacement law, λmT=0.2898 cm °K.

It is shown that the temperature should be increased for maximum efficiency as the bandwidth of the detector is increased.

ALAN D. WILSON, "Occurrence of Maximum Quantum and Thermal Detection Efficiencies Attainable with a Planckian Radiator," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 54, 482-485 (1964)

Sort:  Author  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. M. Wolf, Proc. IRE 48, 1246–1263 (1960).
  2. B. Hisdal, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 395–402 (1962).
  3. R. A. Smith, F. E. Jones, and R. P. Chasmar, The Detection and Measurement of Infra-Red Radiation (Oxford University Press, London, 1957), p. 32.
  4. Reference 3, p. 31.
  5. J. W. M. DuMond and E. R. Cohen, Rev. Mod. Phys. 25, 706–707 (1953).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited