Definitions for kerr effect
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Birefringence of a material induced by an electric field due to partial orientation of its molecules.
Origin: From Rev. John Kerr Scottish physicist.
The Kerr effect, also called the quadratic electro-optic effect, is a change in the refractive index of a material in response to an applied electric field. The Kerr effect is distinct from the Pockels effect in that the induced index change is directly proportional to the square of the electric field instead of varying linearly with it. All materials show a Kerr effect, but certain liquids display it more strongly than others. The Kerr effect was discovered in 1875 by John Kerr, a Scottish physicist. Two special cases of the Kerr effect are normally considered, these being the Kerr electro-optic effect, or DC Kerr effect, and the optical Kerr effect, or AC Kerr effect.
The Standard Electrical Dictionary
The effect of an electrostatic field upon polarized light traversing a dielectric contained within the field. (See Electrostatic Refraction.)
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