Abstract

By numerically solving the nonlinear field equations, we simulate second-harmonic generation by laser pulses within a nonlinear medium without making the usual slowly-varying-amplitude approximation, an approximation which may fail when laser pulses of moderate intensity or ultrashort duration are used to drive a nonlinear process. Under these conditions we show that a backward-traveling, second-harmonic wave is created, and that the magnitude of this wave is indicative of the breakdown of the slowly-varying-amplitude approximation. Conditions necessary for experimental detection of this wave are discussed.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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