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Nonlinear Optics and Photonics$
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Guang S. He

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702764

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198702764.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Nonlinear Optics and Photonics

Guang S. He

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the formation, development, and major subjects of nonlinear optics and photonics. The semiclassical theory treats the light as a classical electromagnetic field governed by Maxwell equations, while the optical medium is a molecular system governed by quantum mechanics; the key parameters for this theory are various-order nonlinear susceptibilities. The quantum theory of radiation treats light as an ensemble of photons and the medium as a molecular system, both of which are described by quantum mechanics, and the key aspect is the concept of the so-called intermediate state represented by a virtual energy state level. The semiclassical theory gives a concise quantitative description of various nonlinear multi-wave mixing effects as well as those nonlinear processes related to the induced refractive-index changes. In contrast, the quantum theory of radiation can provide a conceptual interpretation for almost all known nonlinear optical effects and phenomena.

Keywords:   Nonlinear optics, photonics, semiclassical theory, quantum theory of radiation, intermediate state, virtual energy level, nonlinear susceptibility, multi-wave mixing, refractive-index change

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