ON THE USE OF SHOT NOISE FOR PHOTON COUNTING
Abstract
Lieu et al. have recently claimed that it is possible to substantially improve the sensitivity of radioastronomical observations. In essence, their proposal is to make use of the intensity of the photon shot noise as a measure of the photon arrival rate. Lieu et al. provide a detailed quantummechanical calculation of a proposed measurement scheme that uses two detectors and conclude that this scheme avoids the sensitivity degradation that is associated with photon bunching. If correct, this result could have a profound impact on radio astronomy. Here I present a detailed analysis of the sensitivity attainable using shotnoise measurement schemes that use either one or two detectors, and demonstrate that neither scheme can avoid the photon bunching penalty. I perform both semiclassical and fully quantum calculations of the sensitivity, obtaining consistent results, and provide a formal proof of the equivalence of these two approaches. These direct calculations are furthermore shown to be consistent with an indirect argument based on a correlation method that establishes an independent limit to the sensitivity of shotnoise measurement schemes. Furthermore, these calculations are directly applicable to the regime of interest identified by Lieu et al. Collectively, these results conclusively demonstrate that the photonbunching sensitivity penaltymore »
 Authors:

 Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
 Publication Date:
 OSTI Identifier:
 22521972
 Resource Type:
 Journal Article
 Journal Name:
 Astrophysical Journal
 Additional Journal Information:
 Journal Volume: 813; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0004637X
 Country of Publication:
 United States
 Language:
 English
 Subject:
 79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CORRELATIONS; COSMIC PHOTONS; NOISE; QUANTUM MECHANICS; RADIOASTRONOMY; SEMICLASSICAL APPROXIMATION; SENSITIVITY
Citation Formats
Zmuidzinas, Jonas. ON THE USE OF SHOT NOISE FOR PHOTON COUNTING. United States: N. p., 2015.
Web. doi:10.1088/0004637X/813/1/17.
Zmuidzinas, Jonas. ON THE USE OF SHOT NOISE FOR PHOTON COUNTING. United States. doi:10.1088/0004637X/813/1/17.
Zmuidzinas, Jonas. Sun .
"ON THE USE OF SHOT NOISE FOR PHOTON COUNTING". United States. doi:10.1088/0004637X/813/1/17.
@article{osti_22521972,
title = {ON THE USE OF SHOT NOISE FOR PHOTON COUNTING},
author = {Zmuidzinas, Jonas},
abstractNote = {Lieu et al. have recently claimed that it is possible to substantially improve the sensitivity of radioastronomical observations. In essence, their proposal is to make use of the intensity of the photon shot noise as a measure of the photon arrival rate. Lieu et al. provide a detailed quantummechanical calculation of a proposed measurement scheme that uses two detectors and conclude that this scheme avoids the sensitivity degradation that is associated with photon bunching. If correct, this result could have a profound impact on radio astronomy. Here I present a detailed analysis of the sensitivity attainable using shotnoise measurement schemes that use either one or two detectors, and demonstrate that neither scheme can avoid the photon bunching penalty. I perform both semiclassical and fully quantum calculations of the sensitivity, obtaining consistent results, and provide a formal proof of the equivalence of these two approaches. These direct calculations are furthermore shown to be consistent with an indirect argument based on a correlation method that establishes an independent limit to the sensitivity of shotnoise measurement schemes. Furthermore, these calculations are directly applicable to the regime of interest identified by Lieu et al. Collectively, these results conclusively demonstrate that the photonbunching sensitivity penalty applies to shotnoise measurement schemes just as it does to ordinary photon counting, in contradiction to the fundamental claim made by Lieu et al. The source of this contradiction is traced to a logical fallacy in their argument.},
doi = {10.1088/0004637X/813/1/17},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004637X},
number = 1,
volume = 813,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {11}
}