Abstract

The variance σn2 for a distribution p(n, T) of photoelectrons detected in gaussian light is calculated for any state of coherence and polarization of the optical field, using the concept of light degeneracy. The optimum accuracy of the photoelectric measurement of a light flux is given by the ratio 〈n〉/σn, which behaves very differently depending on the state of degeneracy of the beam. A few experimental examples are studied and a suggestion is made for the experimental determination of the degeneracy of pseudothermal light.

© 1974 Optical Society of America

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