Electro-optic Pockels cells are
used in applications that
require fast switching
of the polarization direction of a beam of light.
These uses include Q-switching of laser cavities,
coupling light into and out from regenerative
amplifiers, and, when used in conjunction with
a pair of polarizers, light intensity modulation.
Pockels cells are characterized by fast response,
since the Pockels Effect is largely an electronic
effect that produces a linear change in refractive
index when an electric field is applied, and they
are much faster in response than devices based
on acoustic changes in a material.
Although Pockels cells can be used for phase modulation,
during which sidebands are imprinted onto the
frequency of the transmitted light at multiples