We show that the current carrier density collapse in doped manganites, which results from bipolaron formation in the paramagnetic phase, leads to a colossal change of the optical conductivity in an external magnetic field at temperatures close to the ferromagnetic transition. As with the colossal magnetoresistance (CMR) itself, the corresponding magnetooptical effect is explained by the dissociation of localized bipolarons into mobile polarons owing to the exchange interaction with the localized Mn spins in the ferromagnetic phase. The effect is positive at low frequencies and negative in the high-frequency region. The present results agree with available experimental observations.
This is a pre-print. It is also available at: http://arxiv.org/abs/cond-mat/9903217.