Abstract

A Twyman-Green interferometer is used to study a large optical nonlinearity, believed to be thermal in origin, in the nematic liquid crystal MBBA. Fringe shifts arising from laser-induced heating of the nematic layer are measured and compared to a solution of the heat equation. There is reasonable agreement between experiment and theory in the dependence of fringe shift on beam intensity and cell temperature.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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