We demonstrate propagation of ultrafast laser pulses through a molecular gas acting as a transient wave plate under conditions of strong phase modulation. The resulting decomposition of a linearly polarized laser pulse into two nearly distinct, orthogonally polarized laser pulses is demonstrated with transiently aligned, linear molecules.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 7, 2006
Revised Manuscript: August 24, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: August 30, 2006
Published: November 9, 2006
Klaus Hartinger and Randy A. Bartels, "Pulse polarization splitting in a transient wave plate," Opt. Lett. 31, 3526-3528 (2006)