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Microwatt shot-noise measurement

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Abstract

We report a simple scheme for sensitive measurements of optical-noise spectra. Optical noise is separated from electronic noise when the output of an analog spectrum analyzer is real-time squared and then lock-in detected. This method directly yields the desired mean-square noise voltage, i.e., the power spectrum of the optical noise on a linear scale. To demonstrate this technique, the mean-square shot noise of a laser beam is measured and found to vary linearly with the laser power from several milliwatts down to one microwatt, in excellent quantitative agreement with predictions.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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