Theory and Application of Pattern Formation and Spatiotemporal Complexity in Nonlinear Optics

  • Programme type: Research
  • Study location: Edinburgh


Pattern formation and turbulence are universal features of many nonlinear systems. Their formation occurs in optics, both in lasers and in nonlinear optical devices. Optical systems, which are relatively simple both in construction and in the mathematics that describe them, provide excellent opportunities for investigating these nonlinear dynamical phenomena as well as for technological innovation.

This programme studies pattern formation and application in nonlinear optical systems. Our investigations are by means of computational simulation and theory through stability and bifurcation analysis. Current interests include spontaneous emergence and evolution of coherent structures in high-aspect-ratio lasers and spatially extended optical systems, excitability and its associated pattern formations particularly optical spiral waves, and defect-mediated turbulence and spiral turbulence in optics. Current work also addresses control of chaos and spatiotemporal chaos by using new feedback algorithms for stabilising, tracking and manipulating coherent structures embedded in spatiotemporal complexity. This theoretical programme has a strong interaction with the experimental research activities in the group.


Entry requirements

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English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

Tuition fees

Fees for this programme can be found on our Tuition fees page.

Scholarships & bursaries

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View our full range of postgraduate taught scholarships and postgraduate research scholarships.