Reviews of topical problems

Polarized light in an anisotropic medium versus spin in a magnetic field

 a,  b
a Department of Physics, St. Petersburg State University, Petrodvorets, St. Petersburg, 198904, Russian Federation
b S I Vavilov State Optical Institute, Birzhevaya liniya 12, St. Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation

The analogy between polarization optics effects and the dynamics of a spin in a magnetic field is analyzed based on the fact that the Bloch equation for a spin in a magnetic field is formally identical to the evolution equation for the quasi-spin vector of a light propagating in an optically anisotropic medium. Among the effects discussed within this framework are light polarization beats in a birefringent medium; optical activity suppression in the media with linear birefringence; suppression of linear birefringence in the media with spatially modulated gyration; ’adiabatic’ transformation of light polarization in media of smoothly varying anisotropy, and two- and three-pulse polarization echoes.

Fulltext is available at IOP
PACS: 42.25.−p, 75.25.+z, 75.30.−m, 78.20.−e (all)
DOI: 10.1070/PU1999v042n08ABEH000454
Citation: Zapasskii V S, Kozlov G G "Polarized light in an anisotropic medium versus spin in a magnetic field" Phys. Usp. 42 817–822 (1999)
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Оригинал: Запасский В С, Козлов Г Г «Поляризованный свет в анизотропной среде и спин в магнитном поле» УФН 169 909–915 (1999); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0169.199908d.0909

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