Abstract

The high-frequency Kerr constants are measured for the first time for a variety of polar liquids relative to nitrobenzene, a strong Kerr-active liquid. Among the liquids investigated were aromatic compounds, ketones, and fluoroalcohols. The measurements consisted in inducing optical birefringence in the liquid samples by the intense electric fields from a Q-switched Nd:glass laser and simultaneously observing a pulsed signal through crossed polarizers using a low-power He–Ne laser as a light probe at 6328 Å. Comparison of the measured and calculated optical Kerr constants for those liquids where the depolarization ratios and isothermal compressibilities were known showed satisfactory agreement. A number of liquids exhibited high-frequency Kerr constants on the order of nitrobenzene.

© 1976 Optical Society of America

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