Colloquium: Günter Steinmeyer

    Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Meinel 307

    Günter Steinmeyer from the Max Born Institute (Germany) and the Tampere University of Technology (Finland) will present "Nonlinear Optics of Supercontinua: From Rogue Waves to the Event Horizon."


    Supercontinuum generation is one of the most extreme scenarios in nonlinear optics, enabling the creation of spectrally broadband white light from narrowband input pulses. Supercontinuum generation involves a multitude of nonlinear optical processes working in parallel. Recently, the statistical distribution of pulse energies in fiber supercontinua has gained a lot of attention, exhibiting extreme-value distributions in their infrared tail, which are often referred to as optical rogue waves. We have recently discovered a similar phenomenon in multiple filamentation, i.e., another white light generation scenario. These optical rogue waves appear in a two-dimensional system akin to the ocean and can actually be directly observed with the naked eye. Another interesting scenario in supercontinuum generation is the so-called event-horizon condition. This condition can effectively lock radiation in the normal and the anomalous dispersion regime, which leads to a dramatic enhancement of their interaction. This effect can be exploited for all-optical switching and the implementation of an optical transistor and for generation of white-light with superior coherence properties, and it may also play an instrumental role in rogue wave generation.