Abstract

We have experimentally analyzed pattern formation in an optical system composed of a bulk photorefractive crystal subjected to a single optical feedback. In a highly nonlinear regime far above the modulational instability threshold, we are reporting on turbulent spatiotemporal dynamics that leads to rare, intense localized optical peaks. We have proven that the statistics and features of those peaks correspond to the signatures of two-dimensional spatial rogue events. These optical rogue waves occur erratically in space and time and live typically the same amount of time as the response time of the photorefractive material.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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