Abstract

It is pointed out that it is impossible to distinguish between photons and classical wave packets by measurement of photoelectric counting statistics for any state of a light beam for which a classical description exists. Therefore, an experiment with a thermal light source recently proposed by Karp as a test for the existence of photons can yield no information on this question, even if it should be able to distinguish between two different statistical models of a light beam. The quantum nature of the optical field can, however, be inferred from other photoelectric measurements, some of which are briefly discussed.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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  1. S. Karp, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 1421 (1976).
  2. L. Mandel, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 72, 1037 (1958); 74, 233 (1959).
  3. L. Mandel, in Progress in Optics, Vol. II, edited by E. Wolf (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1963), p. 181.
  4. L. Mandel, E. C. G. Sudarshan, and E. Wolf, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 84, 435 (1964).
  5. S. Karp, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 421 (1965).
  6. We label all Hilbert space operators with the caret.
  7. E. C. G. Sudarshan, Phys. Rev. Lett. 10, 277 (1963).
  8. J. R. Klauder and E. C. G. Sudarshan, Fundamentals of Quantum Optics (Benjamin, New York, 1968).
  9. R. J. Glauber, Phys. Rev. 130, 2529, 131, 2766 (1963).
  10. L. Mandel and E. Wolf, Rev. Mod. Phys. 37, 231 (1965).
  11. D. Stoler, Phys. Rev. Lett. 33, 1397 (1974).
  12. H. J. Kimble and L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. A 13, 2123 (1976).
  13. H. J. Carmichael and D. F. Walls, J. Phys. B 9, 1199 (1976).
  14. J. F. Clauser, Phys. Rev. D 9, 853 (1974).
  15. L. Mandel, in Ref. 3, Vol. XIII, p. 27.
  16. A. T. Forrester, R. A. Gudmundsen, and P. O. Johnson, Phys. Rev. 99, 1691 (1955).
  17. R. L. Pfleegor and L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. 159, 1084 (1967); J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 946 (1968).
  18. L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. 134, A10 (1964); in Quantum Optics, edited by R. J. Glauber (Academic, New York, 1969), p. 176.
  19. H. Paul, W. Brunner, and G. Richter, Ann. Phys. (Leipz.) 12, 325 (1963); H. Paul, ibid. 19, 210 (1967).
  20. H. Haken, Phys. Rev. Lett. 13, 329 (1964); B. Liebowitz, Phys. Rev. D 1, 720 (1970).

Brunner, W.

H. Paul, W. Brunner, and G. Richter, Ann. Phys. (Leipz.) 12, 325 (1963); H. Paul, ibid. 19, 210 (1967).

Carmichael, H. J.

H. J. Carmichael and D. F. Walls, J. Phys. B 9, 1199 (1976).

Clauser, J. F.

J. F. Clauser, Phys. Rev. D 9, 853 (1974).

Forrester, A. T.

A. T. Forrester, R. A. Gudmundsen, and P. O. Johnson, Phys. Rev. 99, 1691 (1955).

Glauber, R. J.

R. J. Glauber, Phys. Rev. 130, 2529, 131, 2766 (1963).

Gudmundsen, R. A.

A. T. Forrester, R. A. Gudmundsen, and P. O. Johnson, Phys. Rev. 99, 1691 (1955).

Haken, H.

H. Haken, Phys. Rev. Lett. 13, 329 (1964); B. Liebowitz, Phys. Rev. D 1, 720 (1970).

Johnson, P. O.

A. T. Forrester, R. A. Gudmundsen, and P. O. Johnson, Phys. Rev. 99, 1691 (1955).

Karp, S.

S. Karp, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 1421 (1976).

S. Karp, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 421 (1965).

Kimble, H. J.

H. J. Kimble and L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. A 13, 2123 (1976).

Klauder, J. R.

J. R. Klauder and E. C. G. Sudarshan, Fundamentals of Quantum Optics (Benjamin, New York, 1968).

Mandel, L.

L. Mandel, E. C. G. Sudarshan, and E. Wolf, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 84, 435 (1964).

L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. 134, A10 (1964); in Quantum Optics, edited by R. J. Glauber (Academic, New York, 1969), p. 176.

R. L. Pfleegor and L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. 159, 1084 (1967); J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 946 (1968).

L. Mandel, in Ref. 3, Vol. XIII, p. 27.

H. J. Kimble and L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. A 13, 2123 (1976).

L. Mandel, in Progress in Optics, Vol. II, edited by E. Wolf (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1963), p. 181.

L. Mandel and E. Wolf, Rev. Mod. Phys. 37, 231 (1965).

L. Mandel, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 72, 1037 (1958); 74, 233 (1959).

Paul, H.

H. Paul, W. Brunner, and G. Richter, Ann. Phys. (Leipz.) 12, 325 (1963); H. Paul, ibid. 19, 210 (1967).

Pfleegor, R. L.

R. L. Pfleegor and L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. 159, 1084 (1967); J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 946 (1968).

Richter, G.

H. Paul, W. Brunner, and G. Richter, Ann. Phys. (Leipz.) 12, 325 (1963); H. Paul, ibid. 19, 210 (1967).

Stoler, D.

D. Stoler, Phys. Rev. Lett. 33, 1397 (1974).

Sudarshan, E. C. G.

L. Mandel, E. C. G. Sudarshan, and E. Wolf, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 84, 435 (1964).

J. R. Klauder and E. C. G. Sudarshan, Fundamentals of Quantum Optics (Benjamin, New York, 1968).

E. C. G. Sudarshan, Phys. Rev. Lett. 10, 277 (1963).

Walls, D. F.

H. J. Carmichael and D. F. Walls, J. Phys. B 9, 1199 (1976).

Wolf, E.

L. Mandel and E. Wolf, Rev. Mod. Phys. 37, 231 (1965).

L. Mandel, E. C. G. Sudarshan, and E. Wolf, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 84, 435 (1964).

Other

S. Karp, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 1421 (1976).

L. Mandel, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 72, 1037 (1958); 74, 233 (1959).

L. Mandel, in Progress in Optics, Vol. II, edited by E. Wolf (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1963), p. 181.

L. Mandel, E. C. G. Sudarshan, and E. Wolf, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 84, 435 (1964).

S. Karp, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 421 (1965).

We label all Hilbert space operators with the caret.

E. C. G. Sudarshan, Phys. Rev. Lett. 10, 277 (1963).

J. R. Klauder and E. C. G. Sudarshan, Fundamentals of Quantum Optics (Benjamin, New York, 1968).

R. J. Glauber, Phys. Rev. 130, 2529, 131, 2766 (1963).

L. Mandel and E. Wolf, Rev. Mod. Phys. 37, 231 (1965).

D. Stoler, Phys. Rev. Lett. 33, 1397 (1974).

H. J. Kimble and L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. A 13, 2123 (1976).

H. J. Carmichael and D. F. Walls, J. Phys. B 9, 1199 (1976).

J. F. Clauser, Phys. Rev. D 9, 853 (1974).

L. Mandel, in Ref. 3, Vol. XIII, p. 27.

A. T. Forrester, R. A. Gudmundsen, and P. O. Johnson, Phys. Rev. 99, 1691 (1955).

R. L. Pfleegor and L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. 159, 1084 (1967); J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 946 (1968).

L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. 134, A10 (1964); in Quantum Optics, edited by R. J. Glauber (Academic, New York, 1969), p. 176.

H. Paul, W. Brunner, and G. Richter, Ann. Phys. (Leipz.) 12, 325 (1963); H. Paul, ibid. 19, 210 (1967).

H. Haken, Phys. Rev. Lett. 13, 329 (1964); B. Liebowitz, Phys. Rev. D 1, 720 (1970).

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