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University of Bath

Theory and modelling

We study the theory of light propagation in photonic structures and model nonlinear interactions between light and materials.

Results of numerical modelling across a range of photonic systems.
Our theoretical activities are complementary to our laboratory-based research, covering nonlinear and quantum optics across a range of photonic platforms.

The theory and modelling activities in the Centre cover the design of optical waveguides, modelling nonlinear interactions between light and materials, and quantum optics. Our activities are complementary to the range of our laboratory-based research and often have interdisciplinary links with the physics of condensed matter, applied mathematics, and photonic engineering.

Optical waveguides are critical to modern life, from long-distance information networks to high-power fibre lasers for materials processing. We build theoretical models of light propagation in the microstructured optical fibre that we fabricate in order to understand its loss mechanisms and use the resulting knowledge to enhance performance. Our waveguide modelling is based on analytical and numerical approaches to solving Maxwell’s equations using either in-house or commercial software.

Some waveguides enable high intensities of light to be maintained over relatively long lengths, enhancing nonlinear optical effects. The nonlinear optics side of our theoretical activities deals with propagation of short and intense optical pulses, frequency conversion and spatio-temporal effects in a variety of photonic structures and materials often including waveguides.

Within quantum optics, we focus on the design of sources of nonclassical light for use in next-generation quantum technologies including those for communication and computing. This is closely related to our experimental projects in quantum optics.

Specific theory and modelling topics that are currently actively developed include:

  • Frequency comb generation in microresonators
  • Nonlinear pulse propagation and frequency conversion
  • Nonlinear topological photonics and optical vortices
  • Theory of optical solitons in time and space
  • Fast and accurate solvers for modelling microstructured optical fibres
  • Optimisation of anti-resonant hollow-core fibre for ultimate low loss
  • Nonlinear optics and photonics with 2D materials
  • Photon-pair generation and nonclassical light in waveguide arrays

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