Abstract

A laser beam was passed through a turbulent mixture of hot and cold water. The optical path contained no solid scattering particles. It was, therefore, similar to an atmospheric path containing only clear-air turbulence. The field irradiance was accurately described by a truncated three-parameter log-normal probability density. The statistics of the integral of the field irradiance over an area comparable in size to one coherence area was also always characterized by a three-parameter log-normal density. This probability density, when used in the Mandel formula for the single-photon-counting probability, correctly predicted the observed results. The parameters of the irradiance density could be varied by changing the temperature of the hot- and cold-water mixture, or the position of the optical path. The observed photon-counting probabilities could not be obtained by use of a two-parameter log-normal irradiance density (more commonly called the log-normal density) in the Mandel formula.

© 1975 Optical Society of America

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