Bistable systems with noise and delay

D. Curtin, S. P. Hegarty, D. Goulding, J. Houlihan, Th Busch, C. Masoller, G. Huyet

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The polarisation dynamics of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) in the bistable regime is well described by Kramers theory for noise induced transitions. By employing feedback, a memory mechanism can be introduced, which make the dynamics of the system non-Markovian. Here we analyse theoretically and experimentally the residence time distribution of the bistable systems in the presence of noise and time-delayed feedback, using an opto-electronic feedback cycle for a VCSEL. We demonstrate and explain various non-exponential features of the residence time distribution using a continuous as well as a two-state model. Additionally we compare the results to an electronic Schmitt trigger, which represents an experimental realization of the two-state model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number78
Pages (from-to)636-644
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventAstronomical Structures and Mechanisms Technology - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jun 200422 Jun 2004


  • Feedback
  • Memory
  • Noise


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