"From Rogue Waves to Randomness"

Colloquium by John Dudley
PHYSICS DEPARTMENT COLLOQUIUM

From Rogue Waves to Randomness

John Dudley
Universite de Franche-Comte, Besançon, France

A central challenge in understanding extreme events in science is to develop rigorous models
linking the complex (often nonlinear) generation dynamics and the associated statistical
behavior. Quantitative studies of extreme phenomena, however, can be frequently hampered in
two ways: (i) the scarcity of the events under study and (ii) the fact that such events often
appear in environments where measurements are difficult. A case of interest concerns the
infamous oceanic rogue waves associated with many catastrophic maritime disasters. Studying
rogue waves under controlled conditions is problematic, and the phenomenon remains a subject
of intensive research. On the other hand, there are many qualitative and quantitative links
between wave propagation in optics and in hydrodynamics, and it is thus natural to consider
how insights from studying instability phenomena in optics can be applied to other systems.
The field of optical rogue wave physics began in 2007 and has since become a major
international research effort involving many international groups and consortia.
This talk will review the current state of the art in this field and present recent results
of both theory and experiments. The potential practical impact and extension of these ideas
from optics to other fields will also be reviewed. The talk will be general in nature and
appropriate introduction to the wider area of nonlinear dynamics and ocean rogue waves will
be provided.

Date: March 20, 2013 (Wednesday)
Time: 16:00-17:00
Place: EE01