Chaotic Behavior in Nonlinear Polarization Dynamics

  • D. David
  • D. D. Holm
  • M. V. Tratnik
Conference paper
Part of the The IMA Volumes in Mathematics and Its Applications book series (IMA, volume 25)


We analyze the problem of two counterpropagating optical laser beams in a slightly nonlinear medium from the point of view of Hamiltonian systems; the one-beam subproblem is also investigated as a special case. We are interested in these systems as integrable dynamical systems which undergo chaotic behavior under various types of perturbations. The phase space for the two-beam problem is ℂ2 × ℂ2 when we restrict to the regime of traveling-wave solutions. We use the method of reduction for Hamiltonian systems invariant under one-parameter symmetry groups to demonstrate that the phase space reduces to the two-sphere S 2 and is therefore completely integrable. The phase portraits of the system are classified and we also determine the bifurcations that modify these portraits; some new degenerate bifurcations are presented in this context. Finally, we introduce various physically relevant perturbations and use the Melnikov method to prove that horseshoe chaos and Arnold diffusion occur as consequences of these perturbations.


Phase Portrait Poisson Bracket Unstable Manifold Homoclinic Orbit North Pole 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. David
    • 1
  • D. D. Holm
    • 1
  • M. V. Tratnik
    • 1
  1. 1.C.N.L.S. and Theoretical DivisionMS B258 Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA

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