Our simulations show the depolarization of a linearly polarized electromagnetic wave in a cylindrical laser crystal. These simulations were performed using a three-dimensional full vectorial beam propagation method (VBPM). Stress induced birefringence can be compensated well for moderate pumping powers. High power amplification requires sensitive alignment. Our simulation technique calculates the influence of the photo-elastic effect inside the laser crystal accurately. Detailed knowledge about beam waist and depolarization is needed to develop compensation techniques for high power output beams with low depolarization losses.
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