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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2002 Nov;66(5 Pt 2):056605. Epub 2002 Nov 20.

Coherence properties of the parametric three-wave interaction driven from an incoherent pump.

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  • 1CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, 06108 Nice, France.


We consider the basic problem of the parametric generation process from an incoherent pump wave. The analysis of the degenerate configuration of the two-wave interaction reveals that the mutual convection (i.e., group-velocity difference) between the incoherent pump and the signal (i.e., the daughter wave) may quench their parametric interaction, so that the gain experienced by the signal may become arbitrarily small. Conversely, in the absence of convection, the incoherent pump efficiently amplifies the signal wave, although this amplification process cannot lead to the generation of a coherent signal. However, in the case of nondegenerate three-wave interaction, we show the existence of a convection-induced phase-locking mechanism in which the incoherence of the pump is absorbed by the idler wave allowing the signal wave to grow efficiently with a high degree of coherence. We calculate explicitly the autocorrelation function of the generated signal in this regime of coherent-incoherent interaction. The analysis reveals that, owing to the convection-induced averaging process that accompanies the phase-locking mechanism, the degree of coherence of the signal increases as the degree of coherence of the pump decreases. We establish the experimental conditions that would allow for the observation of the transition between the incoherent and the coherent regimes of the three-wave parametric interaction.

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