We consider the incoherent nonlinear regime of the supercontinuum generation process in optical fibers. We show that, under certain conditions, the phenomenon of spectral broadening inherent to the supercontinuum generation may be described by simple thermodynamic arguments based on the kinetic wave theory. Accordingly, the supercontinuum generation process may be regarded as a thermalization process, which is characterized by an irreversible evolution of the optical field toward a thermodynamic equilibrium state, i.e., the state of maximum nonequilibrium entropy.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 15, 2008
Revised Manuscript: September 22, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: October 13, 2008
Published: November 24, 2008
Benoît Barviau, Bertrand Kibler, Stéphane Coen, and Antonio Picozzi, "Toward a thermodynamic description of supercontinuum generation," Opt. Lett. 33, 2833-2835 (2008)