Thursday February 16, 2012, 3:15pm  ** Note special time **
Innovation 223

Thomas Murphy
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Maryland, College Park

Chaotic Synchronization in Optical Networks

Synchronization is a widespread phenomenon that is observed in both natural and engineered systems.  From fireflies to fiber optics and phase-locked loops, the ability of systems of interconnected entities to synchronize is crucial to proper function.  Surprisingly, even chaotic systems, which exhibit highly aperiodic behavior and sensitive dependence on initial conditions, can synchronize when two or more systems are connected.  In this talk, I will discuss recent experimental studies of chaotic synchronization in optical networks.  Our research seeks to develop new ways to control and exploit the process of synchronization even when the network is changing, and to understand the role of network topology in achieving synchronization.


Bio:  Thomas Edward Murphy was born in Falls Church VA, USA. He studied physics and electrical engineering at Rice University, graduating with joint B.A./B.S.E.E. degrees in 1994. In 1994 he joined the NanoStructures Laboratory at MIT, where he pursued research in integrated optics and nanotechnology. He completed his M.S. degree in 1997 and his Ph.D. in 2000. In 1994, he was awarded a National Science Foundation fellowship for graduate research, and in 2000 he and his colleagues received the Lemelson-MIT student team prize for innovation in telecommunications and networking. In 2000, he joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory as a staff member in the Optical Communications Technology Group where he studied and developed ultrafast optical communications systems. In August 2002, he joined the faculty at the University of Maryland, College Park as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was promoted to Associated Professor in 2008. Thomas is a member of the Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and a recent recipient of the NSF CAREER award. His research interests include optical communications, nonlinear optics, short-pulse phenomena, numerical simulation, optical pulse propagation, nanotechnology and integrated photonics.