Nonlinear Behavior of Circularly Polarized Laser Beams Propagating through Sodium Vapor

B. Röhricht 1 , P. Eschle 1 , S. Dangel 1 , and R. Holzner 1
  • 1 Physik-Institut der Universität Zürich, Switzerland


A variety of surprising effects arise from the nonlinear light-matter interaction of circularly polarized laser light propagating through sodium vapor. We present experimental evidence for an asymmetry in the absorption of left hand and right hand circularly polarized light as well as for the creation of a collimated light beam of apposite polarization within the light-matter interaction region. Both effects are not yet explained by common theories.

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