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Energy exchange between the Cartesian components of a paraxial beam in a uniaxial crystal

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Abstract

The evolution of the optical power associated with the Cartesian components of a paraxial beam propagating along the optical axis in a uniaxial crystal is investigated. The energy exchange is found to undergo a saturation that is due to both diffraction and coupling between the x- and y-field components; for linearly polarized circularly symmetric input beams, the asymptotic power exchange always amounts to a quarter of the total power. The general results are applied to the case of astigmatic Gaussian beams, which admits of a fully analytical description. The case of finite length crystals is also considered.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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