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Propagation of partially polarized light

General Physics Institute, 38 Vavilova Str., Moscow 117942, Russia

Department of Physics, University of Southampton, UK


We present a general formalism describing the evolution of partially polarized light propagating in a medium with cubic nonlinearity. Within the ergodic approximation we found that totally polarized coherent single-mode light remains totally polarized, irrespective of the type of optical medium. Partially polarized light consisting of a mixture of a coherent component with a random one preserves its degree of polarization in a dissipation-free medium with isotropic nonlinearity, while only linear or nonlinear dissipation may lead to alteration of the degree of polarization. We also found that in some crystal symmetry point groups, a time-nonreversible optical response may be the only reason for an alteration of the degree of polarization.

Physical Review A (1994) Vol.50(1) pp.709-803

doi: 10.1103/PhysRevA.50.709

Southampton ePrint id: 78219


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