Agenda of the Advanced Study Group
“Optical rare events: A challenge in Laser Dynamics”

A challenging problem of great interest is to predict and anticipate when rare events like catastrophes will strike. Although considerable effort and in-depth investigation has already been directed towards understanding the physics behind rare and potentially destructive events, a complete picture leading to them remains uncertain and quite elusive. In recent years, this problem has attracted the interest of a growing number of researchers in the laser community. In this context, the investigation of optical turbulence and instability acquires a new meaning, where turbulence is used in a much broader context than its original classical hydrodynamic meaning of cascading vorticity.

Some of the key questions to be addressed include:

• To combine the expertise of specialists in order to pin down knowledge allowing one to anticipate rare events capable of inducing catastrophic and/or useful signatures in systems like, e.g. pump-modulated, mode-locked, and optically injected lasers. Also of interest is to characterize turbulence in oscillating Bose-Einstein condensates.

• To assess the reliability and limits of standard approximations commonly used nowadays in nonlinear dynamics. To contrast phase diagrams obtained for several of the popular models and phenomena, with emphasis on semiconductor laser dynamics and optics related phenomena. A global aim is to uncover previously unseen similarities between models and behaviors.

• To devise and propose novel experiments susceptible of unlocking key pending theoretical issues in the field. By bringing together the appropriate experts in fairly distinct areas, the implications of new findings in a more holistic view of optical instabilities may be achieved. The global aim is to profit from the complementary of the specialiststo identify common open problems and useful strategies to solve them.