Nonlinear transmission matrix of random optical media

Random media with tailored optical properties are attracting burgeoning interest for applications in imaging, biophysics, energy, nanomedicine, spectroscopy, cryptography and telecommunications.
A key paradigm for devices based on this class of materials is the transmission matrix, the tensorial link between the input and the output signals, that describes in full their optical behavior. The transmission matrix has specific statistical properties, as the existence of lossless channels, that can be used to transmit information, and are determined by the disorder distribution. In nonlinear materials, these channels may be modulated and the transmission matrix tuned accordingly. Here we
report the direct measurement of the nonlinear transmission matrix of complex materials, exploiting the strong optothermal nonlinearity of scattering Silica Aerogel (SA). We show that the dephasing effects due to nonlinearity are both controllable and reversible, opening the road to applications based on the nonlinear response of random media.

A. Fleming, C. Conti, A. Di Falco, arXiv:1809.07077

Topological Cascade Laser

The cascade of resonant PT-symmetric topological structures is shown to emit laser light with a frequency comb spectrum. We consider optically active topological lattices supporting edge modes at regularly spaced frequencies. When the amplified resonances in the PT-broken regime match the edge modes of the topological gratings, we predict the emission of discrete laser lines. A proper design enables the engineering of the spectral features for specific applications. Topological protection makes the system very well suited for a novel generation of compact frequency comb emitters for spectroscopy, metrology, and quantum information.

Laura Pilozzi and Claudio Conti, Optics Letters 42, 5174 (2017)

Quantum Simulation of Rainbow Gravity

Rainbow gravity modifies general relativity by introducing an energy dependent metric, which is expected to have a role in the quantum theory of black holes and in quantum gravity at Planck energy scale. We show that rainbow gravity can be simulated in the laboratory by nonlinear waves in nonlocal media, as those occurring in Bose-condensed gases and nonlinear optics. We reveal that at a classical level, a nonlocal nonlinear Schr\”odinger equation may emulate the curved space time in proximity of a rotating black hole as dictated by the rainbow gravity scenario. We also demonstrate that a fully quantized analysis is possible. By the positive $\mathcal{P}$-representation, we study superradiance and show that the instability of a black-hole and the existence of an event horizon are inhibited by an energy dependent metric. Our results open the way to a number of fascinating experimental tests of quantum gravity theories and quantum field theory in curved manifolds, and also demonstrate that these theories may be novel tools for open problems in nonlinear quantum physics.

The picture below shows spectra and configuration of particles trapped in a quantum simulation of a black-hole.

Braidotti and Conti, in ArXiv:1708.02623