Abstract

We report on the experimental study of an optically driven multimode semiconductor laser with a 1 m cavity length. We observed a spatiotemporal regime where real-time measurements reveal very high-intensity peaks in the laser field. Such a regime, which coexists with the locked state and with stable phase solitons, is characterized by the emergence of extreme events that produce heavy tail statistics in the probability density function. We interpret the extreme events as collisions of spatiotemporal structures with opposite chirality. Numerical simulations of the semiconductor laser model, showing very similar dynamical behavior, substantiate our evidences and corroborate the description of interactions such as collisions between phase solitons and transient structures with different phase rotations.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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