Nonlinear Localization of Dissipative Modulation Instability

Alexander U. Nielsen, Yiqing Xu, Caleb Todd, Michel Ferré, Marcel G. Clerc, Stéphane Coen, Stuart G. Murdoch, Miro Erkintalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Modulation instability (MI) in the presence of noise typically leads to an irreversible and complete disintegration of a plane wave background. Here we report on experiments performed in a coherently driven nonlinear optical resonator that demonstrate nonlinear localization of dissipative MI: formation of persisting domains of MI-driven spatiotemporal chaos surrounded by a stable quasi-plane-wave background. The persisting localization ensues from a combination of bistability and complex spatiotemporal nonlinear dynamics that together permit a locally induced domain of MI to be pinned by a shallow modulation on the plane wave background. We further show that the localized domains of spatiotemporal chaos can be individually addressed - turned on and off at will - and we explore their transport behavior as the strength of the pinning is controlled. Our results reveal new fundamental dynamics at the interface of front dynamics and MI, and offer a route for tailored patterns of noiselike bursts of light.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123901
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - 17 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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