Abstract

We report on the phenomenological theory of frequency degenerate pump–probe polarization-sensitive wave interactions at the boundary with a nonlinear medium. We consider media with local and nonlocal optical responses. The general analytical solutions for polarization-plane azimuth rotation and ellipticity of the transmitted and reflected probe waves are obtained. It is found that the pump-intensity-dependent change of the polarization state of transmitted and reflected probe waves has coherent and incoherent contributions. Nonlinear polarization phenomena of the specular inverse Faraday effect, the specular optical Kerr effect, the specular nonlinear anisotropic effect, specular nonlinear optical activity, and specular nonlinear nonlocal birefringence are discussed.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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