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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H019197/1
Title: Nonlinear Dynamics of Light Patterns in Laser Networks
Principal Investigator: Wieczorek, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Engineering Computer Science and Maths
Organisation: University of Exeter
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 18 June 2010 Ends: 31 March 2012 Value (£): 100,973
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Lasers & Optics Non-linear Systems Mathematics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Dec 2009 Mathematics Prioritisation Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
In modern society, most communication occurs via the Internet. The bits of information are generated within arrays of isolated semiconductor lasers in the form of light impulses which are then sent through optical fibres. This concept is very different from what is found in nature-made information processing systems. For example, scientists believe that the human brain relies on the self-organised behaviour of networks of interacting, rather than isolated, neurons, giving rise to complex spatiotemporal patterns. This project proposes an idea directly inspired by natural systems to study self-organised light patterns in networks of semiconductor lasers, for new ways of information processing and communication using light. However, before such concepts can be considered for real applications, fundamental nonlinear properties of spatiotemporal light patterns in lasers need to be understood. In this proposal we combine advanced mathematical techniques of networks and bifurcation theory to understand localised patterns in lattices of semiconductor lasers and investigate the possibility of tuning such patterns to desired states in a controllable manner. We will develop new mathematical methodologies and associated advanced numerical methods that will be of use across a wide range of problems in networks of coupled oscillators. In particular, it will allow us to analyse the dynamical behaviour of optical patterns. Specifically, we will use equivariant bifurcation theory to understand patterns emerging in lattices of identical lasers by analysing particular solutions called clusters and heteroclinic attractors. Next, we will apply global bifurcation analysis to identify mechanisms responsible for pattern formation in lattices of non-identical lasers. This work will advance the open problem of regular patterns emerging in networks of non-identical oscillators by analysing novel nonlinear phenomena related to important yet unexplored questions in bifurcation theory. Furthermore, it will address the long standing problem of stability in large laser arrays and will help engineers to understand, design, and control reproducible sequences of optical patterns for new applications.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.ex.ac.uk