Irreversible quantum mechanics and shock waves in highly nonlinear materials

Dispersive shock waves in thermal optical media belong to the third-order nonlinear phenomena, whose intrinsic irreversibility is described by time asymmetric quantum mechanics. Recent studies demonstrated that nonlocal wave breaking evolves in an exponentially decaying dynamics ruled by the reversed harmonic oscillator, namely, the simplest irreversible quantum system in the rigged Hilbert spaces. The generalization of this theory to more complex scenarios is still an open question. In this work, we use a thermal third-order medium with an unprecedented giant Kerr coefficient, the M-Cresol/Nylon mixed solution, to access an extremely-nonlinear highly-nonlocal regime and realize anisotropic shock waves. We prove that a superposition of the Gamow vectors in an ad hoc rigged Hilbert space describes the nonlinear beam propagation beyond the shock point. Specifically, the resulting rigged Hilbert space is a tensorial product between the reversed and the standard harmonic oscillators spaces. The anisotropy turns out from the interaction of trapping and antitrapping potentials in perpendicular directions. Our work opens the way to a complete description of novel intriguing shock phenomena, and those mediated by extreme nonlinearities.

Giulia Marcucci, Phillip Cala, Weining Man, Davide Pierangeli, Claudio Conti, Zhigang Chen in ArXiv:1909.04506

See also

Glauber oscillator

The math of irreversibility

Topological Control of Extreme Waves

From optics to hydrodynamics, shock and rogue waves are widespread. Although they appear as distinct phenomena, new theories state that transitions between extreme waves are allowed. However, these have never been experimentally observed because of the lack of control strategies. We introduce a new concept of nonlinear wave topological control, based on the one-to-one correspondence between the number of wave packet oscillating phases and the genus of toroidal surfaces associated with the nonlinear Schrödinger equation solutions by the Riemann theta function. We prove it experimentally by reporting the first observation of supervised transitions between extreme waves with different genera, like the continuous transition from dispersive shock to rogue waves. Specifically, we use a parametric time-dependent nonlinearity to shape the asymptotic wave genus. We consider the box problem in a focusing Kerr-like photorefractive medium and tailor time-dependent propagation coefficients, as nonlinearity and dispersion, to explore each region in the state-diagram and include all the dynamic phases in the nonlinear wave propagation. Our result is the first example of the topological control of integrable nonlinear waves. This new technique casts light on dispersive shock waves and rogue wave generation and can be extended to other nonlinear phenomena, from classical to quantum ones. The outcome is not only important for fundamental studies and control of extreme nonlinear waves, but can be also applied to spatial beam shaping for microscopy, medicine, and spectroscopy, and to the broadband coherent light generation.

Marcucci et al. in ArXiv:1908.05212

Optical Spatial Shock Waves in Nonlocal Nonlinear Media

Dispersive shock waves are fascinating phenomena occurring when nonlinearity overwhelms linear effects, such as dispersion and diffraction. Many features of shock waves are still under investigation, as the interplay with noninstantaneity in temporal pulses transmission and nonlocality in spatial beams propagation. Despite the rich and vast literature on nonlinear waves in optical Kerr media, spatial dispersive shock waves in nonlocal materials deserve further attention for their unconventional properties. Indeed, they have been investigated in colloidal matter, chemical physics and biophotonics, for sensing and control of extreme phenomena.
Here we review the last developed theoretical models and recent optical experiments on spatial dispersive shock waves in nonlocal media. Moreover, we discuss observations in novel versatile materials relevant for soft matter and biology.

Giulia Marcucci et al. in arXiv:1907.02823

See also

Observation of Fermi-Pasta-Ulam-Tsingou Recurrence and Its Exact Dynamics

One of the most controversial phenomena in nonlinear dynamics is the reappearance of initial conditions. Celebrated as the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam-Tsingou problem, the attempt to understand how these recurrences form during the complex evolution that leads to equilibrium has deeply influenced the entire development of nonlinear science. The enigma is rendered even more intriguing by the fact that integrable models predict recurrence as exact solutions, but the difficulties involved in upholding integrability for a sufficiently long dynamic has not allowed a quantitative experimental validation. In natural processes, coupling with the environment rapidly leads to thermalization, and finding nonlinear multimodal systems presenting multiple returns is a long-standing open challenge. Here, we report the observation of more than three Fermi-Pasta-Ulam-Tsingou recurrences for nonlinear optical spatial waves and demonstrate the control of the recurrent behavior through the phase and amplitude of the initial field. The recurrence period and phase shift are found to be in remarkable agreement with the exact recurrent solution of the nonlinear Schrödinger equation, while the recurrent behavior disappears as integrability is lost. These results identify the origin of the recurrence in the integrability of the underlying dynamics and allow us to achieve one of the basic aspirations of nonlinear dynamics: the reconstruction, after several return cycles, of the exact initial condition of the system, ultimately proving that the complex evolution can be accurately predicted in experimental conditions.

D. Pierangeli, M. Flammini, L. Zhang, G. Marcucci, A. J. Agranat,
P. G. Grinevich, P. M. Santini, C. Conti, and E. DelRe in PHYSICAL REVIEW X 8, 041017 (2018)

10th Optoelectronics and Photonics Winter School: NLP2019 – Nonlinear Photonics

The School aims in bringing together a large number of PhD students and young researchers from all parts of the world which, during a  one-week intense schedule will follow a series of lectures on nonlinear photonics. The lectures are held by internationally recognized experts in the field. At the same, the students are  encouraged to enjoy the beautiful location where the school is  organized. These Optoelectronics and Photonics Winter School series are traditionally held in Trentino region every second year and have  a very good reputation for the in-depth coverage of a topic and the lively atmosphere where ideas exchanges, discussions and amusements  are all blended to give a strong physical flavor.
Website of the school