Abstract

The usual open-loop quantum and semiclassical theories of light detection are extended to include closed-loop operation in which there is feedback from the detector to the source. It is shown that the unmistakable signatures of nonclassical light associated with open-loop detection, such as sub-shot-noise spectra and sub-Poisson photo-counts, do not carry over to closed-loopsystems. This behavior is illustrated through quantitatively indistinguishable quantum and semiclassical analyses of two recent closed-loop experiments in which sub-Poisson photocount statistics were produced. It turns out that if the open-loop illumination does not require the use of quantum photodetection theory, then neither does the closed-loop illumination. Conversely, if the open-loop illumination is nonclassical, then the closed-loop behavior must be analyzed quantum mechanically. The use of nonclassical field correlations to obtain light beams that give sub-Poisson open-loop photocounts from these closed-loop arrangements is discussed and generalized into a synthesis procedure for producing light beams with arbitrary open-loop photocount statistics.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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