We show that the combination of cross-phase modulation and polarization-mode dispersion inside optical fibers leads to a novel phenomenon of intrapulse depolarization manifested as different random states of polarization across the pulse profile. Such polarization evolution of optical pulses is directly analogous to the phenomenon of spin decoherence in semiconductors or pseudospin relaxation in atoms.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(060.4370) Fiber optics and optical communications : Nonlinear optics, fibers
(060.5060) Fiber optics and optical communications : Phase modulation
(190.4370) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, fibers
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
Q. Lin and Govind P. Agrawal, "Intrapulse depolarization in optical fibers: a classical analog of spin decoherence," Opt. Lett. 30, 821-823 (2005)