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Quantum noise and its evasion in feedback oscillators

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posted on 2023-04-11, 16:00 authored by Hudson A. Loughlin, Vivishek Sudhir
We study an abstract model of an oscillator realized by an amplifier embedded in a positive feedback loop. The power and frequency stability of the output of such an oscillator are limited by quantum noise added by two elements in the loop: the amplifier, and the out-coupler. The resulting frequency instability gives the Schawlow-Townes formula. Thus the applicability of the Schawlow-Townes formula is extended to a large class of oscillators, and is shown to be related to the Haus-Caves quantum noise limit for a linear amplifier, while identifying the role of quantum noise added at the out-coupler. By illuminating the precise origin of amplitude and frequency quantum noise in the output of an oscillator, we reveal several techniques to systematically evade them.

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