Abstract

We use stochastic resonance to measure weak transmittance amplitudes that are below the instrumental detection limit. Gaussian noise is added to the subthreshold (chopped) transmittance signal Tt before detection by a crossing detector that uses a dc reference signal B>0. Without noise, no measurement is possible because Tt<B. A fourfold improvement has been obtained in the detection limit, permitting the measurement of amplitudes that are as small as 0.25B.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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