Abstract

Electromagnetic theory predicts the generation of a backward-traveling wave when the velocity of a forward-propagating electromagnetic field inside a dielectric medium varies as a function of time. The backward wave is a phase-conjugate replica of the incident field and possesses some interesting properties. The mechanism giving rise to the phase-conjugate wave is a temporal analog of the Fresnel reflection that occurs when an electromagnetic field encounters a spatial dielectric boundary. We derive the dependence of the phase-conjugate reflectivity on the rate of change of the dielectric constant and show the difficulty of observing this type of phase-conjugate wave.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

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