Blanc SIMI 4 - Blanc - SIMI 4 - Physique des milieux condensés et dilués

Optical Rogue Waves in Nonlinear Cavities – OptiRoC

Submission summary

The human and societal toll from damage due to extreme (rogue) events is currently presenting a major challenge for public policy and scientific research worldwide. One of the main objectives of international research in this area is to provide knowledge that can contribute to the reduction of vulnerability through the development of useful tools for prediction. Perhaps the most well-known example of rogue events concerns the destructive giant rogue waves that appear on the surface of the open ocean and which have been held responsible for many maritime disasters. The study of such extreme phenomena, however, has been hampered in two ways: (i) the intrinsic scarcity of the events under study; (ii) the fact that such events often appear in environments where measurements are difficult. Although linear wave analysis can explain some aspects of rogue wave behavior, it is now generally accepted that nonlinearity and nonlinear physics plays a central role to the highest amplitude phenomena. Moreover, the recent observation of similarities between rogue wave phenomena in hydrodynamic and optical systems has led to the development of convenient nonlinear fiber optics-based experimental setups to explore both dynamic and stochastic aspects. Although analogies between hydrodynamics and optics have been known since the 1960’s, the optical studies have shown during 2010 that this correspondence applies even in the limit of extreme nonlinear localization. This has led to the first studies in conservative systems that have linked nonlinear turbulence processes to the noise-induced generation of optical rogue waves, and the first measurements of a fundamentally new class of rational localized structure known as the Peregrine soliton (considered as a rogue wave prototype). These studies have been extremely successful and attracted much worldwide attention. Yet despite the success, the results are restricted to an essentially ideal class of extreme event in the absence of dissipation and more complex dynamics such as internal feedback. The new project that we describe here aims to address the extended problems of rogue waves in realistic dissipative optical systems, because all physical and natural systems are dissipative in reality. Nonlinear dynamics in dissipative systems is a rapidly growing field relevant in many different branches of science, such as reaction dynamics in chemical systems, hydrodynamics, nonlinear optics, and biology. The interplay of nonlinearity and noise can result in nontrivial effects, which can in turn inhibit or trigger rogue events, yet very few cases within the very large landscape potential dynamical regimes have actually been studied in detail. In this project, we have two specific purposes: (i) to develop a series of optical workbenches based on nonlinear cavity systems with controllable complexity that can be varied in precisely chosen ways; (ii) to develop both theoretical understanding and experimental demonstration of the regimes for which very intense localized structures exhibiting rogue event signatures can be generated and controlled. We will investigate a large variety of dynamical regimes and systems ranging from one cavity to small arrays of coupled cavities and networks, focusing on areas such as excitability, multi-stability and chaos. Depending on the technology used, these regimes will be studied in both continuous and discrete systems. Benefiting from the large expertise of the consortium on nonlinear optical cavities based on fiber and semiconductor technologies and their pioneering works in optical rogue waves, this global and challenging overview of optical cavity dynamics will be managed with the ambition of developing a unified physical picture of the rogue wave phenomena, thus leading to strong potential interactions with other scientific domains such as hydrodynamics, biology and climate where effects such as dissipation and feedback are central features of the dynamics.

Project coordination

Guy Millot (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Carnot de Bourgogne) – guy.millot@u-bourgogne.fr

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

FEMTO - CNRS Institut FEMTO-ST
INLN Institut Non Linéaire de Nice
PhLAM Laboratoire de Physique des Lasers, Atomes et Molécules
LPN Laboratoire de Photonique et de Nanostructures
ICB Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Carnot de Bourgogne

Help of the ANR 591,766 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2012 - 48 Months

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