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We extend the classical forbidden-interval theorems for a stochastic-resonance noise benefit in a nonlinear system to a quantum-optical communication model and a continuous-variable quantum key distribution model. Each quantum forbidden-interval theorem gives a necessary and sufficient condition that determines whether stochastic resonance occurs in quantum communication of classical messages. The quantum theorems apply to any quantum noise source that has finite variance or that comes from the family of infinite-variance alpha-stable probability densities. Simulations show the predicted noise benefits for the basic quantum communication model and the continuous-variable quantum key distribution model. © 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical