Optical rogue waves in vortex turbulence

Gibson, Christopher J. and Yao, Alison M. and Oppo, Gian-Luca (2016) Optical rogue waves in vortex turbulence. Physical Review Letters, 116 (4). 043903. ISSN 1079-7114 (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.043903)

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We present a spatiotemporal mechanism for producing 2D optical rogue waves in the presence of a turbulent state with creation, interaction, and annihilation of optical vortices. Spatially periodic structures with bound phase lose stability to phase unbound turbulent states in complex Ginzburg-Landau and Swift-Hohenberg models with external driving. When the pumping is high and the external driving is low, synchronized oscillations are unstable and lead to spatiotemporal vortex-mediated turbulence with high excursions in amplitude. Nonlinear amplification leads to rogue waves close to turbulent optical vortices, where the amplitude tends to zero, and to probability density functions (PDFs) with long tails typical of extreme optical events.