Quantum optics of lossy beam splitters

S M Barnett, J Jeffers, A Gatti, R Loudon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


The familiar input-output relations for an optical beam splitter are generalized to allow for linear absorption by the medium forming the mirror. Beam-splitter losses generally affect the noise levels detectable in experiments involving nonclassical Light. When employed to investigate two-photon interference effects, a lossy beam splitter can lead to apparent nonlinear absorption, which, in the most extreme case, leads to either both or neither of the photons being absorbed. The degree of second-order coherence of antibunched light can be maintained on transmission through the beam splitter but any amplitude squeezing in the incident light is degraded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2134-2145
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998


  • electromagnetic fields
  • linear directional coupler
  • dielectrics
  • continuum fields
  • lasers
  • approximation
  • interference
  • propagation
  • light


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantum optics of lossy beam splitters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this