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Some properties of point processes in statistical optics

Abstract : The analysis of the statistical properties of the point process (PP) of photon detection times can be used to determine whether or not an optical field is classical, in the sense that its statistical description does not require the methods of quantum optics. This determination is, however, more difficult than ordinarily admitted and the first aim of this paper is to illustrate this point by using some results of the PP theory. For example, it is well known that the analysis of the photodetection of classical fields exhibits the so-called bunching effect. But this property alone cannot be used to decide the nature of a given optical field. Indeed, we have presented examples of point processes for which a bunching effect appears and yet they cannot be obtained from a classical field. These examples are illustrated by computer simulations. Similarly, it is often admitted that for fields with very low light intensity the bunching or antibunching can be described by using the statistical properties of the distance between successive events of the point process, which simplifies the experimental procedure. We have shown that, while this property is valid for classical PPs, it has no reason to be true for nonclassical PPs, and we have presented some examples of this situation also illustrated by computer simulations.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 3:37:04 PM
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Bernard Picinbono, Cherif Bendjaballah. Some properties of point processes in statistical optics. Physical Review A, American Physical Society, 2010, 82 (3), pp.638111-638118. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevA.82.063811⟩. ⟨hal-00547053⟩

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