Instabilities of counterpropagating beams in a nonlinear medium

Railing Chang, Pierre Meystre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The dynamical behavior of counterpropagating light beams interacting with a nonlinear medium is studied numerically. When the incident intensities are increased, this system becomes unstable and exhibits oscillations undergoing complex behavior, including quasiperiodic motion and chaos. We analyze the output fields by using Fourier spectra, phase portraits, and autocorrelation functions. In the chaotic regime, the Lyapunov exponents and dimensions are calculated. A physical interpretation of the quasiperiodic motion is also given by an exact calculation of the absorption spectrum of a two-level atom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3188-3200
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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