Abstract

Exact photocounting distributions are obtained for a pulse of light whose intensity is exponentially decaying in time, when the underlying photon statistics are Poisson. It is assumed that the starting time for the sampling interval (which is of arbitrary duration) is uniformly distributed. The probability of registering n counts in the fixed time T is given in terms of the incomplete gamma function for n ≥ 1 and in terms of the exponential integral for n = 0. Simple closed-form expressions are obtained for the count mean and variance. The results are expected to be of interest in certain studies involving spontaneous emission, radiation damage in solids, and nuclear counting. They will also be useful in neurobiology and psychophysics, since habituation and sensitization processes may sometimes be characterized by the same stochastic model.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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