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Quantum Effects in Communications Systems

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1 Author(s)
J. P. Gordon ; Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J.

The information capacity of various communications systems is considered. Quantum effects are taken fully into account. The entropy of an electromagnetic wave having the quantum statistical properties of white noise in a single transmission mode is found, and from it the information efficiency of various possible systems may be derived. The receiving systems considered include amplifiers, heterodyne and homodyne converters and quantum counters. In the limit of high signal or noise power (compared to h¿B, where h is Planck's constant and ¿ and B are, respectively, the center frequency and bandwidth of the channel) the information efficiency of an amplifier can approach unity. In the limit of low powers the amplifier becomes inefficient, while the efficiency of the quantum counter can approach unity. The amount of information that can be incorporated in a wave drops off rather rapidly when the power drops below h¿B.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 9 )