The LANER: optical networks as complex lasers

Complex Active Optical Networks as a New Laser Concept by Stefano Lepri, Cosimo Trono and Giovanni Giacomelli has been published in Physical Review Letters.

The introduction of one or more active sections in a complex network may lead to laser emission. We call this system LANER (lasing network). As in the usual laser, when the gains are sufficiently high coherent emission is produced; in this case, the full network becomes a complicated, multipath and multigain cavity for the optical field. The emission spectrum reflects the topological disorder induced by the connections. The interplay of chaotic diffusion of the photons in the network and their amplification leads to an emission statistics with the characteristic heavy-tails of the L’evy statistics. This fact indicates that the systems can be properly considered also as a discrete, continuous-wave pumped random laser and paves the way for simpler studies of this topic in experiments with fully controllable disorder.