Extreme events in optics: Challenges of the MANUREVA project
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- Dudley, J., Finot, C., Millot, G. et al. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. (2010) 185: 125. doi:10.1140/epjst/e2010-01243-x
In this contribution we describe and discuss a series of challenges and questions relating to understanding extreme wave phenomena in optics. Many aspects of these questions are being studied in the framework of the MANUREVA project: a multidisciplinary consortium aiming to carry out mathematical, numerical and experimental studies in this field. The central motivation of this work is the 2007 results from optical physics [D. Solli et al., Nature 450, 1054 (2007)] that showed how a fibre-optical system can generate large amplitude extreme wave events with similar statistical properties to the infamous hydrodynamic rogue waves on the surface of the ocean. We review our recent work in this area, and discuss how this observation may open the possibility for an optical system to be used to directly study both the dynamics and statistics of extreme-value processes, a potential advance comparable to the introduction of optical systems to study chaos in the 1970s.