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Dynamics of the diffraction efficiency of light-induced gratings

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Abstract

The wave equation has been solved to predict theoretically and confirm experimentally the periodic behavior of light intensity in the first diffraction maximum, depending upon the thickness of the nonlinear medium. The growth of the medium’s nonlinearity was shown to give rise to an essential complication in the behavior of the spatial harmonics. Transition from a simple harmonic behavior of the system to dynamic chaos was demonstrated. Numerical solution of the wave equation permitted determination of applicability limits of approximate Raman–Nath solutions for the case of self-diffraction. Nonlinear diffraction of a beam as a whole was theoretically predicted and experimentally confirmed to be an essential factor in the spatial and temporal dynamics of the diffracted radiation.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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