Abstract

Photon noise in photometric instruments is computed using two different methods. A first expression, derived from quantum physics, corresponds to the most widely used formulas and is applicable when diffraction phenomena are negligible. The second one is derived from the semiclassical approach of Hanbury Brown and Twiss. Properties of this expression, including consistency with the former one, asymptotical behavior, and scale properties are derived and discussed. The effect of polarization is studied, and practical examples are given.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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