Statistics of photon-subtracted and photon-added states

Stephen M. Barnett, Gergely Ferenczi, Claire R. Gilson, Fiona C. Speirits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


The subtraction or addition of a prescribed number of photons to a field mode does not, in general, simply shift the probability distribution by the number of subtracted or added photons. Subtraction of a photon from an initial coherent state, for example, leaves the photon statistics unchanged and the same process applied to an initial thermal state increases the mean photon number. We present a detailed analysis of the effects of the initial photon statistics on those of the state from which the photons have been subtracted or to which they have been added. Our approach is based on two closely related moment-generating functions, one that is well established and one that we introduce.

Original languageEnglish
Article number013809
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2018


  • photon addition
  • photon subtraction
  • radiation fields


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