Critical behavior of light in mode-locked lasers

Rafi Weill*, Amir Rosen, Ariel Gordon, Omri Gat, Baruch Fischer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Light is shown to exhibit critical and tricritical behavior in passively mode-locked lasers with externally injected pulses. It is a first and unique example of critical phenomena in a one-dimensional many-body light-mode system. The phase diagrams consist of regimes with continuous wave, driven parapulses, spontaneous pulses via mode condensation, and heterogeneous pulses, separated by phase transition lines that terminate with critical or tricritical points. Enhanced non-Gaussian fluctuations and collective dynamics are present at the critical and tricritical points, showing a mode system analog of the critical opalescence phenomenon. The critical exponents are calculated and shown to comply with the mean field theory, which is rigorous in the light system.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number013903
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


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