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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2 (1998), Issue 2, Pages 99-110

Nonlinear dynamics of the additive-pulse modelocked laser

School of Electrical Engineering, Phillips Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Received 13 January 1998

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have modeled the additive-pulse modelocked (APM) laser with a set of four nonlinear difference equations, that describe the transit of optical pulses through the main cavity and through an external cavity containing a single-mode optical fiber. Simulating the system under several parameter variations, including fiber length, gain, and fiber coupling, we have observed period-doubling bifurcations into chaos. In addition, the model predicted large regimes of quasiperiodicity, and crisis transitions between different chaotic regions. We have used the method of nearest neighbors, Lyapunov exponents, and attractor reconstruction to characterize the chaotic regimes and the different types of bifurcations. We have included bandwidth-limiting and monitoring provisions to prevent non-physical solutions. To our knowledge, this is the first such characterization of chaos in the APM laser, as well as the first evidence of crisis behavior.