Physics Thesis Research

Nonlinear Pulse Shaping in a Picosecond Fiber Laser

At Williams College, I worked on a senior honors thesis under the guidance of Prof. Jeff Strait of the Williams physics department. His lab investigates the propagations of short pulses in optical fibers - specifically, near-soliton pulses through an all-fiber Er:Yb laser with a nonlinear optical loop mirror.

Laser Lab

The laser lab where I spent a lot of my senior year, squinting to see by oscilloscope light

My thesis work involved developing a Mathematica program to simulate the propagation of pulses in the laser cavity. With this simulator, we gained a much richer understanding of the pulse-shaping mechanisms at work in the fiber laser. This work has direct applications to long-distance data transmission through optical fibers.

Polarization map

Polarization map of the laser, with experimental and simulated behaviors overlaid. Each axis represents a setting on one of the wave plates in the laser cavity. Contour lines show the laser transmission and light shading shows which polarizations give positive feedback. The laser generates pulses at the settings indicated by blue dots and noise spikes at those indicated by red dots.

You can read my thesis, if you want.


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