Abstract

Beam paths inside photorefractive crystals under conditions of beam fanning or self-pumped conjugation that uses crystal corners are often kinky—i.e., they consist of short, straight line segments as opposed to smoothly curved paths. We show that kinky paths occur naturally when the beam-coupling equations including noise source terms are solved to all Bragg orders without phase-matching approximations. Higher-order gratings arise in high-gain two-wave mixing without noise but are apparently unobservable because fanning always dominates in real crystals. In the presence of noise and fanning the residual signature of the higher-order gratings is kinky beam paths.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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