Optical Communication with Two-Photon Coherent States—Part I: Quantum-State Propagation and Quantum-Noise Reduction

Horace P. Yuen, Jeffrey H. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

490 Scopus citations


Recent theoretical work has shown that novel quantum states, called two-photon coherent states (TCS), have significant potential for improving free-space optical communications. The first part of a three-part study of the communication theory of TCS radiation is presented. The issues of quantum-field propagation and optimum quantum-state generation are addressed. In particular, the quantum analog of the classical paraxial diffraction theory for quasimonochromatic scalar waves is developed. This result, which describes the propagation of arbitrary quantum states as a boundary-value problem suitable for communication system analysis, is used to treat a number of quantum transmitter optimization problems. It is shown that, under near-field propagation conditions, a TCS transmitter maximizes field-measurement signal-to-noise ratio among all transmitter quantum states; the performance of the TCS system exceeds that for a conventional (coherent state) transmitter by a factor of Ns + 1, where Ns is the average number of signal photons (transmitter energy constraint). Under far-field propagation conditions, it is shown that use of a TCS local oscillator in the receiver can, in principle, attenuate field-measurement quantum noise by a factor equal to the diffraction loss of the channel, if appropriate spatial mode mixing can be achieved. These communcation results are derived by assuming that field-quadrature quantum measurement is performed. In part II of this study, photoemissive reception of TCS radiation will be considered; it will be shown therein that homodyne detection of TCS fields can realize the field-quadrature signal-to-noise ratio performance of part I. In part III, the relationships between photoemissive detection and general quantum measurements will be explored. In particular, a synthesis procedure will be obtained for realizing all the measurements described by arbitrary TCS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-668
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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