Standard Article

Nonlinear Optics

  1. Christos Flytzanis

Published Online: 15 JUL 2004

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap298.pub2

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Flytzanis, C. 2004. Nonlinear Optics. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. .

Author Information

  1. Laboratoire Pierre Aigrain, Department de Physique, École Normale Supérieure Paris, Cédex 05, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2004


We present an unified overview and classification of the main nonlinear optical effects and the underlying nonlinear optical interactions. The physical origin of these effects is analyzed and related to material features and their behavior, their characteristics and efficiency are discussed in terms of the nonlinear propagation equations. Some aspects related to nonlinear optical materials and devices are presented and connections with quantum optics, nonlinear spectroscopy and optoelectronics are stressed.


  • nonlinear optics;
  • nonlinear polarizabilities;
  • nonlinear susceptibilities;
  • optical Kerr effect; second-harmonic generation;
  • phase matching and quasi-matching;
  • sum and difference frequency generation;
  • optical parametric amplification and oscillation;
  • electro-optics;
  • third-order processes;
  • optical bistability;
  • optical phase conjugation;
  • self-induced transparency;
  • self phase modulation;
  • spatial and temporal solitons;
  • photonic gratings;
  • self-focusing;
  • self-transparency;
  • coherent trapping;
  • nonlinear optical balance;
  • acousto-optics;
  • nonlinear magneto-optics;
  • stimulated nonlinear processes;
  • stimulated light scattering;
  • nonlinear optical materials and devices;
  • photonic structures;
  • nonlinear optical spectroscopy (frequency and time resolved);
  • single cycle and extreme nonlinear optics