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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Jul 1;95(1):013903. Epub 2005 Jun 30.

Critical behavior of light in mode-locked lasers.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel.


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.

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