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Nonlinear Optics, 3rd Edition by Robert W. Boyd

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Chapter 9 Stimulated Brillouin and Stimulated Rayleigh Scattering

9.1. Stimulated Scattering Processes

We saw in Section 8.1 that light scattering can occur only as the result of fluctuations in the optical properties of a material system. A light-scattering process is said to be spontaneous if the fluctuations (typically in the dielectric constant) that cause the light-scattering are excited by thermal or by quantum-mechanical zero-point effects. In contrast, a light-scattering process is said to be stimulated if the fluctuations are induced by the presence of the light field. Stimulated light scattering is typically very much more efficient than spontaneous light scattering. For example, approximately one part in 105 of the power contained ...

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