[Lecture] Spatiotemporal nonlinear waves in multimode optical systems


Title: Spatiotemporal nonlinear waves in multimode optical systems
Speaker: Logan G. Wright ( Cornell University and NTT Research, Inc.)
Time: September 10, Friday, 20:30
Online meeting venue: Zoom Video Conference (Room mumber: 894 8529 1694; code: i4qK7h)

When waves propagate in a medium whose response is nonlinear, particle-like wave packets called solitons can form. Solitons arise due to a dynamic balance of nonlinear and linear processes. Usually, this balance is disrupted by other effects, leading to a microworld of emergent behaviors among soliton-like pulses, including births, bound complexes, deaths, adaptations, and competitions. Solitons have captivated mathematicians and physicists for centuries, and have become indispensable in designing and explaining the physics of ultrafast optical pulses, such as occur in passively mode-locked lasers and microresonators (i.e., mode-locked frequency combs). In this talk, I will discuss our work examining soliton-like pulses of light in multimode waveguides and multimode lasers. While solitons in one-dimensional systems, such as optical fibers with a single spatial mode, systems relatively stable, they are very constrained, limiting the complexity of solitonic phenomena. Solitons in higher-dimensional settings like three-dimensional bulk optical media are, on the other hand, too free: once formed they usually quickly fall apart. In multimode waveguides and cavities, solitons exist in a happy medium: an ‘interdimensional' setting in which vastly more complex soliton behaviors can occur than in either 1D or fully-3D environments. I will explain a few of the diverse ways multimode solitons can form, break apart and explode, and the competition of multimode dissipative solitons in the resource-limited environment of a multimode laser cavity. These observations inspire several routes to designing powerful new kinds of lasers and coherent light sources by exploiting spatiotemporal soliton physics in multimoded laser cavities and waveguides.

Annoucned by the School of Physics and Optoelectronics