Abstract

We present a simple theoretical model that explains polarization switching in fiber ring lasers operating with a normal path-averaged dispersion and a typical intermediate level of birefringence. Such polarization dynamics, based on a type of polarization-domain-wall (PDW) structures, agree qualitatively well with our experimental observations. We also stress the complex and chaotic nature of the observed polarization-switching states. This is corroborated by detailed numerical simulations that predict the buildup of consecutive and transient PDW structures at the subnanosecond scale, which are not fully resolved experimentally.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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