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Modulational instability arising from collective Rayleigh scattering

Robb, G R M and McNeil, B W J (2003) Modulational instability arising from collective Rayleigh scattering. Physical Review E: Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics, 67 (2). -. ISSN 1063-651X

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Abstract

It is shown that under certain conditions a collection of dielectric Rayleigh particles suspended in a viscous medium and enclosed in a bidirectional ring cavity pumped by a strong laser field can produce a new modulational instability transverse to the wave-propagation direction. The source of the instability is collective Rayleigh scattering i.e., the spontaneous formation of periodic longitudinal particle-density modulations and a backscattered optical field. Using a linear stability analysis a dispersion relation is derived which determines the region of parameter space in which modulational instability of the backscattered field and the particle distribution occurs. In the linear regime the pump is modulationally stable. A numerical analysis is carried out to observe the dynamics of the interaction in the nonlinear regime. In the nonlinear regime the pump field also becomes modulationally unstable and strong pump depletion occurs.