The emergence of long-range phase coherence among random nonlinear waves is a fascinating effect that characterizes fundamental phenomena such as the condensation of nonlinear waves and the related manifestation of superfluidity of certain turbulent flows. Here we report a previously unrecognized phenomenon of spontaneous emergence of long-range phase coherence among incoherent waves interacting through a nonlocal nonlinearity. The theory reveals that the establishment of long-range phase coherence constitutes a generic property of a conservative (Hamiltonian) system of highly nonlocal random waves that evolve in the strongly nonlinear regime. Aside from phase coherence, the field exhibits intensity fluctuations whose coherence length is shown to increase in a dramatic way during the evolution of the system. The analysis can be transposed to the temporal domain, revealing the emergence of temporal phase coherence among incoherent waves propagating in nonlinear materials featured by a noninstantaneous nonlinear response.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics