Abstract

We report an analysis of degenerate four-wave mixing in uniform plasmas and show that the magnitude of the third-order susceptibility (varying as λ2) can be comparable to (10−11 esu for λ = 10.6 μm) or orders of magnitude larger (10−3 esu for λ = 10 cm) than the corresponding susceptibility in typical nonlinear materials. The nonlinear contribution to the macroscopic current resulting from the ponderomotive force is generated from the two-component fluid model by means of a linearized perturbation scheme. Numerical estimates of the nonlinear susceptibility show that relatively large signals can be produced easily without significant problems from competing physical phenomena such as self-focusing or stimulated Brillouin and Raman scattering.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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