We show that finite external excitation can lead to a traveling wave in an excitable passive optical system with one-dimensional space geometry. We have studied the excitable behavior of this system in parallel with that of its diffusive counterpart and show the effects of optical phase on the traveling-wave solution and its velocity. In two-dimensional space we observe numerically rotating optical spiral waves evolving from a truncated planar wave front.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(190.3100) Nonlinear optics : Instabilities and chaos
(190.4420) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, transverse effects in
(190.4870) Nonlinear optics : Photothermal effects
(190.5530) Nonlinear optics : Pulse propagation and temporal solitons
(270.1670) Quantum optics : Coherent optical effects
Weiping Lu, Dejin Yu, and Robert G. Harrison, "Excitable wave patterns in a spatially extended nonlinear optical cavity," Opt. Lett. 24, 578-580 (1999)