Abstract

Exact forward photocounting distributions for a source of optical radiation with arbitrary statistics are obtained in the presence of photodetector dead time. In particular, we examine the counting and pulse-interval distributions that arise from amplitude-stabilized radiation, from chaotic radiation, and from a Van der Pol laser with arbitrary excitation. The exact dead-time-corrected Poisson distribution is graphically compared with a previous approximate result and with the uncorrected Poisson. Plots of the Bose–Einstein distribution clearly indicate the dramatic anti-bunching effects of the dead time in overcoming the inherent bunching of this distribution. A simplified approximate solution is also found. for the Van der Pol laser above threshold; this result is similar to light from an amplitude-stabilized source incident on a photodetector with a gaussian-distributed dead time. Information about photodetector dead-time variation can therefore be obtained either by using an amplitude-stabilized source or by properly choosing system parameters such that irradiance fluctuations are averaged out.

© 1975 Optical Society of America

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