Experimental generation of Riemann waves in optics: a route to shock wave control

Wetzel, Benjamin, Bongiovanni, Domenico, Kues, Michael, Hu, Yi, Chen, Zhigang, Trillo, Stefano, Dudley, John M., Wabnitz, Stefano and Morandotti, Roberto (2016) Experimental generation of Riemann waves in optics: a route to shock wave control. Physical Review Letters, 117 (7). 073902-1. ISSN 0031-9007

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We report the first observation of Riemann (simple) waves, which play a crucial role for understanding
the dynamics of any shock-bearing system. This was achieved by properly tailoring the phase of an
ultrashort light pulse injected into a highly nonlinear fiber. Optical Riemann waves are found to evolve in
excellent quantitative agreement with the remarkably simple inviscid Burgers equation, whose applicability
in physical systems is often challenged by viscous or dissipative effects. Our method allows us to further
demonstrate a viable novel route to efficiently control the shock formation by the proper shaping of a laser
pulse phase. Our results pave the way towards the experimental study, in a convenient benchtop setup, of
complex physical phenomena otherwise difficult to access.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC0350 Optics. Light
Depositing User: Benjamin Wetzel
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2016 14:21
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 14:20
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/63301

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