We develop a quantum theory of propagation in dispersive nonlinear media from the foundations of a correctly quantized field theory. Quantum fluctuations are handled by coherent-state expansions of localized field states. A stochastic nonlinear Schrödinger equation in the field variables is obtained for media with an intensity-dependent refractive index. This predicts squeezing for a continuous-wave input, over a wide bandwidth with anomalous dispersion, and over a gradually reducing bandwidth with normal dispersion. The equation is easily modified to include thermal-noise sources as well. For solitons, fluctuations are reduced over the soliton bandwidth. This leads to quantum solitons that have quadrature fluctuations less than the level of vacuum fluctuations. The complementary quadrature has a correspondingly increased fluctuation level.
© 1987 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article