The theory of two counter-propagating polarized beams interacting in a randomly birefringent fiber via the Kerr and Raman effects is developed and applied to the quantitative description of Raman polarizers in the undepleted regime. Here Raman polarizers, first reported by Martinelli , are understood as Raman amplifiers operating in the regime in which an initially weak unpolarized beam is converted into an amplified fully polarized beam towards the fiber output. Three parameters are selected for the characterization of a Raman polarizer: the degree of polarization of the outcoming beam, its state of polarization, and its gain. All of these parameters represent quantities that are averaged over all random polarization states of the initially unpolarized signal beam. The presented theory is computer friendly and applicable to virtually all practically relevant situations, including the case of co-propagating beams, and in particular to the undepleted as well as the depleted regimes of the Raman polarizer.
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