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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 11, Iss. 8 — Apr. 21, 2003
  • pp: 944–951

Measuring properties of superposed light beams carrying different frequencies

Dong-Ik Lee and Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 11, Issue 8, pp. 944-951 (2003)

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When two electromagnetic fields of different frequencies are physically superposed, the linear superposition equation implies that the fields readjust themselves into a new mean frequency whose common amplitude undulates at half their difference frequency. Neither of these mathematical frequencies are measurable quantities. We present a set of experiments underscoring that optical fields do not interfere with each other or modify themselves into a new frequency even when they are physically superposed. The multi-frequency interference effects are manifest only in materials with broad absorption bands as their constituent diploes attempt to respond collectively and simultaneously to all the optical frequencies of the superposed fields. Interference is causal and real since the dipoles carry out the operation of summation dictated by their quantum mechanical properties.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.4050) Lasers and laser optics : Mode-locked lasers
(260.3160) Physical optics : Interference

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: March 11, 2003
Revised Manuscript: April 15, 2003
Published: April 21, 2003

Dong-Ik Lee and Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri, "Measuring properties of superposed light beams carrying different frequencies," Opt. Express 11, 944-951 (2003)

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