Fundamental Limits to the Measurement of the Polarization of Classical Light

Antonio Mecozzi, Cristian Antonelli, Mark Shtaif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the limits that quantum mechanics imposes on the accuracy of the measurement of the Stokes polarization-vector in the case of classical states. Using the apparatus of the conventional Stokes receiver, we propose an estimation method that allows not only to exceed the signal-to-noise limit that is achieved by a heterodyne measurement or after ideal phase-insensitive amplification, but also to achieve the quantum SNR limit for the measurement of classical light. We refer to this receiver scheme as the enhanced Stokes receiver.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9324924
Pages (from-to)2387-2396
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2021


  • Polarization
  • stokes receivers


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