Photocounts and laser detection of weak optical signals

Prokhorov General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Vavilova 38, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation

The nature of photocounts arising in detectors exposed to highly coherent laser radiation is discussed. It is shown that the spatial localization of a photon allowed in quantum electrodynamics fails to account for the effect observed and that the Coulomb instability of a low electron flux in a photodetector can be the explanation. With detectors utilizing nonfree electrons, namely, electrons bound in atoms, ions, molecules, etc., weak optical signals can be detected with laser radiation without photocounts, in other words, at a suppressed shot noise. A basic scheme for a laser detector using bound electrons is suggested.

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Fulltext is also available at DOI: 10.1070/PU2005v048n05ABEH002103
PACS: 42.50.−p, 84.47.+w, 85.60.Gz (all)
DOI: 10.1070/PU2005v048n05ABEH002103
Citation: Bykov V P "Photocounts and laser detection of weak optical signals" Phys. Usp. 48 469–486 (2005)
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Оригинал: Быков В П «Фотоотсчеты и лазерное детектирование слабых оптических сигналов» УФН 175 495–513 (2005); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0175.200505c.0495

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