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Proceedings Paper

Optically induced birefringence of transparent media
Author(s): Zdzislaw Blaszczak
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Paper Abstract

One of the nonlinear optics phenomena, discovered after lasers have been put to use, is birefringence of transparent media induced by a laser beam, known as optical Kerr effect. The report presents the development of the technique of optical Kerr effect and a review of the theories of this effect including fundamental formulas and dependencies used for interpretation of experimental data. Recent experimental techniques: nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond are discussed and schematic diagrams of most frequently used two- and four- component systems are given and compared. A method, developed by the author, permitting considerable improvement of sensitivity of measuring equipment is described. The application of this method enabled observation of optical Kerr effect in vapors and gases and thus systematic investigation of Kerr effect versus gas pressure and temperature. The exemplary results of optical Kerr effect measurements in liquid and gas media are given as a function of temperature, solution concentration, or gas pressure with particular emphasis put on their cognitive value. Practical applications of Kerr effect are specified. The results of OKE investigation of molecule conformation and local structure of organic liquids, water, and water solution of optically active substances which are a simple model of biological media are presented. Perspectives of further studies of optically induced birefringence of the media using the femtosecond technique are also outlined.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2202, Laser Technology IV: Research Trends, Instrumentation, and Applications in Metrology and Materials Processing, (1 March 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.203258
Show Author Affiliations
Zdzislaw Blaszczak, A. Mickiewicz Univ. (Poland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2202:
Laser Technology IV: Research Trends, Instrumentation, and Applications in Metrology and Materials Processing
Wieslaw L. Wolinski; Zdzislaw Jankiewicz; Jerzy K. Gajda; Bohdan K. Wolczak, Editor(s)

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