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A method is given for calculating the minimum average error probability attainable in deciding between a mixed state and a pure state of a quantum system. It is applied, first, to the detection of a noisy coherent pulse represented by a state with a Gaussian P-representation and, second, to the detection of a signal represented at the transmitter by a two-photon coherent state (TCS). In both problems the field of the receiver is free of background noise and, when no signal was transmitted, is in the ground state.
Date of Publication: Jan 1979