Extreme case of Faraday effect: magnetic splitting of ultrashort laser pulses in plasmas

Suming Weng, Qian Zhao, Zhengming Sheng, Wei Yu, Shixia Luan, Min Chen, Lule Yu, Masakatsu Murakami, Warren B. Mori, Jie Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


The Faraday effect due to magnetic-field-induced change in the optical properties takes place in a vast variety of systems from a single atomic layer of graphenes to huge galaxies. To date, it plays a pivot role in many applications such as the manipulation of light, and the probing of magnetic fields and material's properties. Basically this effect causes a polarization rotation
of light during its propagation along the magnetic field in a medium. Here, we report an extreme case of the Faraday effect that a linearly polarized ultrashort laser pulse splits in time into two circularly polarized pulses of opposite handedness during its propagation in a highly magnetized plasma. This offers a new degree of freedom to manipulate ultrashort and ultrahigh power laser pulses. Together with technologies of ultra-strong magnetic fields, it may pave the way for novel optical devices, such as magnetized plasma polarizers. Besides, it may offer a powerful means to measure strong magnetic fields in laser-produced plasmas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1086-1091
Number of pages6
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2017


  • Faraday effect
  • polarization
  • plasmas
  • magneto-optic systems
  • polarization-selective devices
  • astronomy and astrophysics

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