Abstract

Measurements of the third-order nonlinear electric susceptibility component χxyyx3 by means of self-induced changes in the state of polarization of an intense elliptically polarized laser beam are reported. The simultaneous observation of the transverse intensity profile and of the losses allows us to show the influence of field transverse gradients on the polarization state. We show that the plane-wave model cannot explain our experimental results, even at low input intensities. The influence of spatial dispersion on nonlinear susceptibility is demonstrated.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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