2009 Maxwell medal and prize

Dr Dmitry Skryabin

University of Bath

For his contributions to theory and modelling of nonlinear optical processes; in particular for predictions and understanding of effects accompanying interaction of solitons with radiation and generation of ultrabroad spectra in optical fibers.

Over the past decade Dmitry Skryabin has worked on theory and numerical modelling of light propagation in dispersive and nonlinear materials and structures. His work has wide applicability for optical, atomic and nonlinear physics. He has found its most striking applications to nonlinear optical effects in photonic crystal fibres, the area which has attracted world wide interest of photonics community over the past few years. Two results stand out in the list of problems Dr. Skryabin has dealt with. First, is the prediction of an efficient mechanism of amplification of the infrared dispersive radiation emitted by optical solitons. Second, is the development of the theory of the soliton induced radiation trapping accompanied by the wavelength shift towards the blue edge of visible spectrum. These results generated wide spread interest, explained long standing problems and led to the development of novel approaches to frequency conversion and improved designs of the supercontinuum generation schemes in optical fibers.

Dmitry Skryabin has been much in demand at international conferences, workshops and specialist focus groups. He has been instrumental in educating the national and international communities about the nature and importance of soliton related effects in systems with large and strongly varying dispersion. His special skill has been to explain complex phenomena on the basis of the simple diagrams representing dispersive properties of linear and nonlinear waves. This approach has afforded him significant physical insight and allowed him to push the boundaries of knowledge. Such understanding is all too often missing from routine theoretical and numerical analyses.

Since joining the University of Bath, Dr. Skryabin has created an active research group working on theory and modelling of nonlinear optical effects. He has collaborated widely, not least with experimentalists, who have benefited not only from his natural insight, but from his enthusiasm for seeing his predictions verified in the laboratory.