Welcome !

This is the website of the Laboratory of Nonlinear Photonics and Theoretical Physics at the Department of Physics of the University Sapienza and the Institute for Complex Systems of the National Research Council. Our program is applying paradigms from the science of complex systems to light propagation, and investigating the development of complexity and self-organization in nonlinear waves. We want to test and deepen ideas of fundamental physics by using optics and photonics, and developing experiments, high performance computing approaches, and theory.

Please visit our research pages or our Blog.





Optomechanics of random media: towards Photonic Robots

The Brownian motion of photons in a random medium induces a Brownian motion of the medium.

Anderson localization of light enhances the optomechanical interaction.

These effects are considered in a manuscript, by Silvia Gentilini and Claudio Conti, based on massively parallel numerical solutions of the Maxwell equations for random media. The goal is designing micron-sized structured devices that are activated by light and perform a prescribed motion. Understanding the role of light scattering is pivotal in the realization of "Photonic Robots."


Last Updated (Sunday, 14 December 2014 10:37)


Light Focusing and the Anderson localization in Nature Communications

Marco Leonetti, Salman Karbasi, Arash Mafi and Claudio Conti report numerical and experimental evidence of the fact that two dimensional Anderson localization in disordered fibers enhances light focusing properties. The results have been published in Nature Communications (arXiv:1407.8062)

The picture below shows the adaptive focusing in a disordered fiber


Last Updated (Monday, 11 August 2014 08:39)


Replica Symmetry Breaking in Random Lasers

N. Ghofraniha, I. Viola, F. Di Maria, G. Barbarella, G. Gigli, L. Leuzzi and C. Conti reported on the first evidence of Replica Symmetry Breaking in Random Lasers by the direct measurement of the Parisi overlap distribution function (arXiv:1407.5428)

Spin-glass theory is one of the leading paradigms of complex physics and describes condensed matter, neural networks and biological systems, ultracold atoms, random photonics, and many other research fields. According to this theory, identical systems under identical conditions may reach different states and provide different values for observable quantities. This effect is known as Replica Symmetry Breaking and is revealed by the shape of the probability distribution function of an order parameter named the Parisi overlap. However, a direct experimental evidence in any field of research is still missing. Here we investigate pulse-to-pulse fluctuations in random lasers, we introduce and measure the analogue of the Parisi overlap in independent experimental realizations of the same disordered sample, and we find that the distribution function yields evidence of atransition to a glassy light phase compatible with a replica symmetry breaking.




Last Updated (Thursday, 24 July 2014 05:02)


Solitonized Anderson localized states move

The conventional wisdom is that transport is absent in the presence of Anderson localization. However, nonlinearity changes things.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters (arXiv:1407.7990),  Marco Leonetti, Salman Karbasi, Arash Mafi, and Claudio Conti, report experimental evidence that disorder induced two-dimensional states in an optical fiber display collective motion and action at a distance. It is also shown that the trend of the localization length with power is compatible with that of a spatial optical soliton, giving support to the fact that two mechanicsms, disorder and nonlinearity, may cohexist.

The pictures below show the profile of one localized state versus power and the collective motion of several localizations, they exhibit a mutual attraction because of the nonlocal nonlinearity.



Last Updated (Monday, 11 August 2014 08:40)