Kerr electro-optic effect

Kerr electro-optic effect: The creation of birefringence in a liquid that is not otherwise birefringent, by subjecting the liquid to an electric field. Note 1: The degree of birefringence, which is manifested as a difference in refractive indices for light of orthogonal linear polarizations, one of which is parallel to the induced optical axis, is directly proportional to the square of the applied electric field strength. Note 2: In the general case, the birefringence produced by the applied electric field can be used in conjunction with polarizers to modulate light. Devices that use this principle are called Kerr cells .

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