Talk:Kerr effect

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Cubic crystals[edit]

Do all cubic structure crystals exhibit the Kerr optical effect? Since the Kerr effect can only occur in isotrophic(cubic) crystals, does it work the other way around? Also, what relation does the ferro, piezo, and pyroelectric effects have with the Kerr or Pockels effect, if any?

It's not true that the Kerr effect only occurs in cubic crystals. The Kerr effect is often used in polar liquids, for example. I had thought that all optical materials exhibited the Kerr effect to some degree, but I'm not so sure now. Hecht's book Optics at least implies that all isotropic media exhibit the Kerr effect.--Srleffler 23:47, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Kerr effect take its origin in the (non-linear) polarization. The polarization is a function of the electric field. That field is well defined everywhere, even in empty space, so the polarization too. Meaning there could be Kerr effect everywhere. Note that in empty space, the electric susceptibility is zero, even non-linear term. So no Kerr effect in vacum :)—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nicolas Bigaouette (talkcontribs) 15:58, October 6, 2006.
No, you are confusing polarization of electromagnetic waves and electrostatic polarization. Despite having the same name, they are not the same thing. The Kerr effect originates from nonlinear electrostatic polarization, which is a property of the medium not of the light.--Srleffler 19:51, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
No, I am not :) I was, like you, speaking of the polarization density. If you read carefully my post, you'll see that I never mension anything about the "electric field polarization". I said that the Kerr effect takes its origin in the "(non-linear) polarization". I could have added "via the nonlinear susceptibilities" to be more specific. This polarization really depends on the value of the electric field, as you can see here. You are rigth though about the "nonlinear electrostatic polarization being a property of the medium". Let me add that the polarization is a property of the medium, but it depends on the electric field. Nicolas Bigaouette 20:34, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Kerr Constant[edit]

Do we know what the value of the kerr constant is? I didn't see it anywhere in the article.Strangealibi (talk) 13:04, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

The value is different for each material. It's a material constant, not a fundamental constant.--Srleffler (talk) 17:08, 11 March 2008 (UTC)