Abstract

Using a binomial model of sub-Poissonian light statistics, we determine and analyze the Cramer–Rao lower bound for the estimation of the contrast between two sub-Poissonian light beams. The study of this bound shows that the optimal precision of contrast estimation can be maximally improved in proportion to the Fano factor of the sub-Poissonian light sources in comparison with standard coherent light. Numerical simulations show that a simple contrast estimator can reach this bound. The general results obtained are analyzed for two practical situations involving contrast estimation between two intensity levels of a single sub-Poissonian beam.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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