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Optics Communications

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The statistics of photon coincidence counting in photon-correlated beams is thoroughly investigated considering the effect of the finite coincidence resolving time. The correlated beams are assumed to be generated using parametric downconversion, and the photon streams in the correlated beams are modeled by two partially correlated Poisson point processes. An exact expression for the mean rate of coincidence registration is developed using techniques from renewal theory. It is shown that the use of the traditional approximate rate, in certain situations, leads to the overestimation of the actual rate. The error between the exact and approximate coincidence rates increases as the coincidence-noise parameter, defined as the mean number of uncorrelated photons detected per coincidence resolving time, increases. The use of the exact statistics of the coincidence becomes crucial when the background noise is high or in cases when high precision measurement of coincidence is required. Such cases arise whenever the coincidence-noise parameter is even slightly in excess of zero. It is also shown that the probability distribution function of the time between consecutive coincidence registration can be well approximated by an exponential distribution function. The well-known and experimentally verified Poissonian model of the coincidence registration process is therefore theoretically justified. The theory is applied to an on-off keying communication system proposed by Mandel which has been shown to perform well in extremely noisy conditions. It is shown that the bit-error rate (BER) predicted by the approximate coincidence-rate theory can be significantly lower than the actual BER obtained using the exact theory.


Accepted version. Optics Communications, Vol. 169, No. 1-6 (October 1, 1999): 275-287. DOI. © 1999 Elsevier. Used with permission.

Majeed M. Hayat was affiliated with University of Dayton at the time of publication.

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