Abstract

The time-dependent Hartree approximation discussed by Lai and Haus [ Phys. Rev. A 40, 844 ( 1989)] is used to investigate the effects of self-phase modulation on a beam of finite transverse extent propagating through a Kerr nonlinear medium. For a thermal field the photon statistics can greatly alter the spatial frequency spectrum in comparison with that for a coherent field. This suggests the use of self-phase modulation as a probe of field photon statistics.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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