Abstract

The evolution of the polarization state in a cubic material with an anisotropic Kerr nonlinearity is examined. It is shown that in certain cases this provides a mechanism for nonlinear-optical activity, leaving the state of the polarization unchanged but causing a significant rotation in its major axis. The use of the anisotropic ultrafast nonlinear refraction that exists just beneath the half-gap in semiconductors to demonstrate these effects is discussed.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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