Experimental Observation of Polarization Instability in a Birefringent Fiber

S. Trillo, S. Wabnitz, R. H. Stolen, G. Assanto, C. T. Seaton, and G. I. Stegeman

Appl. Phys. Lett. 49, 1224-1226 (1986)


We present the first experimental demonstration of spatial instability in the nonlinear evolution of the state of polarization of an intense light beam in a birefringent Kerr-like medium. As the peak power crosses the threshold for the instability, we observed strong intensity-dependent power transfer between the two counter-rotating circularly polarized waves propagating along a birefringent optical fiber. The experimental results agree well with the theory.