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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 8, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 1983
  • pp: 177–179

Noise in homodyne and heterodyne detection

Horace P. Yuen and Vincent W. S. Chan  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 8, Issue 3, pp. 177-179 (1983)

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Quantum-mechanical calculations of the mean-square fluctuation spectra in optical homodyning and heterodyning are made for arbitrary input and local-oscillator quantum states. In addition to the unavoidable quantum fluctuations, it is shown that excess noise from the local oscillator always affects homodyning and, when it is broadband, also heterodyning. Both the quantum and the excess noise of the local oscillator can be eliminated by coherent subtraction of the two outputs of a 50–50 beam splitter. This result also demonstrates the fact that the basic quantum noise in homodyning and heterodyning is signal quantum fluctuation, not local-oscillator shot noise.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: December 21, 1982
Published: March 1, 1983

Horace P. Yuen and Vincent W. S. Chan, "Noise in homodyne and heterodyne detection," Opt. Lett. 8, 177-179 (1983)

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  12. Note the distinction between the quadrature fluctuation 〈Δa12〉 and the photon number fluctuation 〈ΔNa2〉 of a field. The photon shot noise is the factor 〈Na〉 in 〈ΔNa2〉 = 〈Na〉 + (〈a+2a2〉 − 〈Na〉2), the second term being the intensity fluctuation.
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