One-dimensional optical wave turbulence:experiment and theory


We present a review of the latest developments in one-dimensional (1D) optical wave turbulence (OWT). Based on an original experimental setup that allows for the implementation of 1D OWT, we are able to show that an inverse cascade occurs through the spontaneous evolution of the nonlinear field up to the point when modulational instability leads to soliton formation. After solitons are formed, further interaction of the solitons among themselves and with incoherent waves leads to a final condensate state dominated by a single strong soliton. Motivated by the observations, we develop a theoretical description, showing that the inverse cascade develops through six-wave interaction, and that this is the basic mechanism of nonlinear wave coupling for 1D OWT. We describe theory, numerics and experimental observations while trying to incorporate all the different aspects into a consistent context. The experimental system is described by two coupled nonlinear equations, which we explore within two wave limits allowing for the expression of the evolution of the complex amplitude in a single dynamical equation. The long-wave limit corresponds to waves with wave numbers smaller than the electrical coherence length of the liquid crystal, and the opposite limit, when wave numbers are larger. We show that both of these systems are of a dual cascade type, analogous to two-dimensional (2D) turbulence, which can be described by wave turbulence (WT) theory, and conclude that the cascades are induced by a six-wave resonant interaction process. WT theory predicts several stationary solutions (non-equilibrium and thermodynamic) to both the long- and short-wave systems, and we investigate the necessary conditions required for their realization. Interestingly, the long-wave system is close to the integrable 1D nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLSE) (which contains exact nonlinear soliton solutions), and as a result during the inverse cascade, nonlinearity of the system at low wave numbers becomes strong. Subsequently, due to the focusing nature of the nonlinearity, this leads to modulational instability (MI) of the condensate and the formation of solitons. Finally, with the aid of the probability density function (PDF) description of WT theory, we explain the coexistence and mutual interactions between solitons and the weakly nonlinear random wave background in the form of a wave turbulence life cycle (WTLC).

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Additional Information: © 2012 Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Uncontrolled Keywords: nonlinear optics,liquid crystals,turbulence,integrability,solitons
Publication ISSN: 1873-6270
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2012-05
Published Online Date: 2012-01-16
Accepted Date: 2011-12-20
Authors: Laurie, Jason (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-3621-6052)
Bortolozzo, Umberto
Nazarenko, Sergey
Residori, Stefania

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