We review the nature, physics, and applications of optical beam phase-conjugation by nonlinear optical effects. The history of the subject now spans a decade. In its commonest form, this process of optical beam phase-conjugation generates, nearly instantaneously, a time-reversed replica of a complex monochromatic beam throughout a large portion of space. Because a beam retracing its path through an aberrator reemerges in its original unaberrated pattern, phase-conjugation can be used to correct unwanted aberrations arising in, for example, beam propagation through laser amplifiers.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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