Ultrafast Optical Kerr Effect in Liquids and Solids

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In the optical Kerr effect, the electric field of light incident on a transparent sample induces an anisotropic refractive index, which is measured by its effect on the passage of a second light beam.The advent of lasers powerful enough to generate a measurable effect, and which can be pulsed on femtosecond time scales, has made the optical Kerr effect into a practical technology for investigating the molecular structure and interactions of condensed systems such as pure liquids, liquid solutions, and plastic crystals.

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