Turbulent Transitions in Optical Wave Propagation

D. Pierangeli, F. Di Mei, G. Di Domenico, A. J. Agranat, C. Conti, E. DelRe

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33 Scopus citations


We report the direct observation of the onset of turbulence in propagating one-dimensional optical waves. The transition occurs as the disordered hosting material passes from being linear to one with extreme nonlinearity. As the response grows, increased wave interaction causes a modulational unstable quasihomogeneous flow to be superseded by a chaotic and spatially incoherent one. Statistical analysis of high-resolution wave behavior in the turbulent regime unveils the emergence of concomitant rogue waves. The transition, observed in a photorefractive ferroelectric crystal, introduces a new and rich experimental setting for the study of optical wave turbulence and information transport in conditions dominated by large fluctuations and extreme nonlinearity.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number183902
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2016

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© 2016 American Physical Society.


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