There is presently a considerable amount of interest in wave conjugation via four-wave mixing in saturable absorbing media. Typically, the four-wave process in volves the interaction, of two counter-propagating pump waves and an Input probe wave via a third-order nonlinearity in the polarization of the medium. Introduction of the probe wave produces a reflected signal wave in the retrodirection. Abrams and Lind have determined the magnitude of the reflected wave obtained from a two-level saturable absorber by solving a set of coupled equations for the probe and signal waves. To obtain this solution, they assumed that the probe and signal waves are weak compared with the pump waves and that the amplitudes of the pumps are constant. In this paper we shall consider the effect of pump attenuation caused by absorption and pump depletion caused by the transfer of energy to the probe and signal waves.

© 1981 Optical Society of America

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