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Creators/Authors contains: "Christodoulides, Demetrios N."

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  1. We show that in highly multimoded nonlinear photonic systems, the optical thermodynamic pressures emerging from different species of the optical field obey Dalton’s law of partial pressures. In multimode settings, the optical thermodynamic pressure is defined as the conjugate to the extensive variable associated with the system’s total number of modes and is directly related to the actual electrodynamic radiation forces exerted at the physical boundaries of the system. Here, we extend this notion to photonic configuration supporting different species of the optical field. Under thermal equilibrium conditions, we formally derive an equation that establishes a direct link between the partial thermodynamic pressures and the electrodynamic radiation pressures exerted by each polarization species. Our theoretical framework provides a straightforward approach for quantifying the total radiation pressures through the system’s thermodynamic variables without invoking the Maxwell stress tensor formalism. In essence, we show that the total electrodynamic pressure in such arrangements can be obtained in an effortless manner from initial excitation conditions, thus avoiding time-consuming simulations of the utterly complex multimode dynamics. To illustrate the validity of our results, we carry out numerical simulations in multimoded nonlinear optical structures supporting two polarization species and demonstrate excellent agreement with the Maxwell stress tensor method.

     
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  2. Recent years have witnessed a flurry of research activities in topological photonics, predominantly driven by the prospect for topological protection–a property that endows such systems with robustness against local defects, disorder, and perturbations. This field emerged in fermionic environments and primarily evolved within the framework of quantum mechanics which is by nature a Hermitian theory. However, in light of the ubiquitous presence of non-Hermiticity in a host of natural and artificial settings, one of the most pressing questions today is how non-Hermiticity may affect some of the predominant features of topological arrangements and whether or not novel topological phases may arise in non-conservative and out of equilibrium systems that are open to the environment. Here, we provide a brief overview of recent developments and ongoing efforts in this field and present our perspective on future directions and potential challenges. Special attention will be given to the interplay of topology and non-Hermiticity–an aspect that could open up new frontiers in physical sciences and could lead to promising opportunities in terms of applications in various disciplines of photonics.

     
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  3. Abstract Optical forces are known to arise in a universal fashion in many and diverse physical settings. As such, they are successfully employed over a wide range of applications in areas like biophotonics, optomechanics and integrated optics. While inter-elemental optical forces in few-mode photonic networks have been so far systematically analyzed, little is known, if any, as to how they manifest themselves in highly multimoded optical environments. In this work, by means of statistical mechanics, we formally address this open problem in optically thermalized weakly nonlinear heavily multimode tight-binding networks. The outlined thermodynamic formulation allows one to obtain in an elegant manner analytical results for the exerted thermodynamic pressures in utterly complex arrangements-results that are either computationally intensive or impossible to obtain otherwise. Thus, we derive simple closed-form expressions for the thermodynamic optical pressures displayed among elements, which depend only on the internal energy as well as the coupling coefficients involved. In all cases, our theoretical results are in excellent agreement with numerical computations. Our study may pave the way towards a deeper understanding of these complex processes and could open up avenues in harnessing radiation forces in multimode optomechanical systems. 
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  4. Kerr beam cleaning is a nonlinear phenomenon in graded-index multimode fiber where power flows toward the fundamental mode, generating bell-shaped output beams. Here we study beam cleaning of femtosecond pulses accompanied by gain in a multimode fiber amplifier. Mode-resolved energy measurements and numerical simulations showed that the amplifier generates beams with high fundamental mode content (greater than 30% of the overall pulse energy) for a wide range of amplification levels. Control experiments using stretched pulses that evolve without strong Kerr nonlinear effects showed a degrading beam profile, in contrast to nonlinear beam cleaning. Temporal measurements showed that seed pulse parameters have a strong effect on the amplified pulse quality. These results may influence the design of future high-performance fiber lasers and amplifiers.

     
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  5. Abstract

    Recent experimental studies in heavily multimoded nonlinear optical systems have demonstrated that the optical power evolves towards a Rayleigh–Jeans (RJ) equilibrium state. To interpret these results, the notion of wave turbulence founded on four-wave mixing models has been invoked. Quite recently, a different paradigm for dealing with this class of problems has emerged based on thermodynamic principles. In this formalism, the RJ distribution arises solely because of ergodicity. This suggests that the RJ distribution has a more general origin than was earlier thought. Here, we verify this universality hypothesis by investigating various nonlinear light-matter coupling effects in physically accessible multimode platforms. In all cases, we find that the system evolves towards a RJ equilibrium—even when the wave-mixing paradigm completely fails. These observations, not only support a thermodynamic/probabilistic interpretation of these results, but also provide the foundations to expand this thermodynamic formalism along other major disciplines in physics.

     
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  6. Spatiotemporal mode-locking in a laser with anomalous dispersion is investigated. Mode-locked states with varying modal content can be observed, but we find it difficult to observe highly-multimode states. We describe the properties of these mode-locked states and compare them to the results of numerical simulations. Prospects for the generation of highly-multimode states and lasers based on multimode soliton formation are discussed.

     
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