We study the ultrafast Kerr effect and high-harmonic generation in superconductors by formulating a model for a time-varying electromagnetic pulse normally incident on a thin-film superconductor. It is found that superconductors exhibit exceptionally large χ(3) due to the progressive destruction of Cooper pairs, and display high-harmonic generation at low incident intensities, and the highest nonlinear susceptibility of all known materials in the THz regime. Our theory opens up avenues for accessible analytical and numerical studies of the ultrafast dynamics of superconductors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics