Abstract

An expression describing the variance of shot noise is derived for deterministic, time-varying photon rates on a semiclassical basis. This is done both for the case with and without postprocessing in the electrical regime. It is shown how the results are related to the traditional shot-noise formula and under which (restricted) conditions the well-known formula may be applied. This becomes significant when signal-to-noise ratios have to be calculated. An example related to optical heterodyning demonstrates similarities and differences between the traditional formula and the new results.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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