Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Optical rogue waves: The storm in a test tube

Date:
December 20, 2013
Source:
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB)
Summary:
Random processes in nature often underlie a so-called normal distribution that enables reliable estimation for the appearance of extreme statistical events. Meteorological systems are an exception to this rule, with extreme events appearing at a much higher rate than could be predicted from long-term observation at much lower magnitude. One such example is the appearance of unexpectedly strong storms, yet another are rare reports of waves of extreme height in the ocean, which are also known as rogue waves or monster waves.

Subsequent camera snapshots of a measured rogue wave event. Intensity is visualized as wave height. The incident is isolated both in space and time. The wave appears within a split second without a warning and also disappears rapidly.
Credit: Image courtesy of Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB)

Random processes in nature often underlie a so-called normal distribution that enables reliable estimation for the appearance of extreme statistical events. Meteorological systems are an exception to this rule, with extreme events appearing at a much higher rate than could be predicted from long-term observation at much lower magnitude. One such example is the appearance of unexpectedly strong storms, yet another are rare reports of waves of extreme height in the ocean, which are also known as rogue waves or monster waves.

About 5 years ago, rogue behavior was first reported for propagation of light pulses through an optical fiber, i.e., a completely different physical system. Given that observation of rogue waves requires comparatively little effort, this work has initiated a new research direction on optical rogue waves. In a publication in Physical Review Letters, Birkholz et al. now demonstrate the appearance of rogue waves in a new optical system. Other than in previous publications, optical rogue waves in this system are clearly ruled by atmospheric turbulence in a gas cell, effectively enabling the observation of a storm in a test tube.

This microscopic meteorological phenomenon is based on mergers between individual light strings (so-called filaments) in the gas cell. The merger events give rise to the observation of short light flashes, which can actually be observed by the naked eye. Careful statistical evaluation of the measured data indicates that these optical monster waves are much more extreme than their ocean equivalents. While, in the ocean, a wave already qualifies as rogue if it exceeds the significant wave height by a factor two, we find optical waves that exceed this threshold by more of a factor ten -- a truly rough optical sea.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simon Birkholz, Erik Nibbering, Carsten Brée, Stefan Skupin, Ayhan Demircan, Goëry Genty, Günter Steinmeyer. Spatiotemporal Rogue Events in Optical Multiple Filamentation. Physical Review Letters, 2013; 111 (24) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.243903

Cite This Page:

Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB). "Optical rogue waves: The storm in a test tube." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131220113648.htm>.
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB). (2013, December 20). Optical rogue waves: The storm in a test tube. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131220113648.htm
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB). "Optical rogue waves: The storm in a test tube." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131220113648.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins