Fluid models of partially coherent light

Pre-FPO Presentation
Apr 2, 2024, 2:30 pm3:30 pm
Imaging Physics lab, 192 Nassau St



Event Description

Fluid models of lasers provide nontrivial insights into beam propagation, especially in a nonlinear medium. These models connect optics to other domains of physics, like superfluids, Bose-Einstein condensates, and plasmas, and give new perspectives on light propagation.

Light emitted from an everyday lamp differs greatly from a laser in its coherence properties, resulting in partially coherent light. In this talk, we extend the fluid model of light to the partially coherent domain. We map fluid quantities like density, velocity, and pressure to optical quantities of intensity, phase, and spatial coherence and discuss how new effects are introduced by statistics. Using theory and simulation, we give two examples that highlight the usefulness of our description: shock waves and Riemann waves for partially coherent light. We further use experiments to show the effects of structured coherence on beam propagation, in both linear and nonlinear media. This work will advance fundamental analogies between optics and fluid dynamics and enable intuitive and tractable beam control for applications using partially coherent light.

Adviser: Jason Fleischer