Abstract

We examine the quantum-limited behavior of an electro-optical intensity feedback loop and present a simple theory and experimental data showing excellent agreement. We show that, although the light incident upon the in-loop detector may be sub-Poissonian, this light has unique properties different from those of a freely propagating beam of intensity squeezed light. We support this by presenting the results of homodyne measurements of the phase noise of light extracted from the loop. The utility of the in-loop field is discussed, and it is shown that in all cases in which linear optical components are used, no advantage in signal-to-noise ratio is gained by taking measurements by using this light rather than a coherent source. We also discuss effects seen in the extracted or out-of-loop light. We demonstrate the existence of, and derive an expression for, an optimum gain for suppressing low-level classical noise. Conversely, in the high-gain limit, we demonstrate that the extra noise seen in the out-of-loop photocurrent that is due to the feedback process is expressible purely in terms of the mean photocurrents involved. Lastly, we introduce the novel concept of using an intensity feedback loop in conjunction with a squeezed source and show that the feedback loop has the capability of electronically transferring squeezing from one light beam to another.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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