Using an explicit centre manifold reduction, we set up a general framework to study the bifurcations of nearly degenerate modes of a rather general laser model. We then apply it specifically to the study of interactions of two modes of a Maxwell-Bloch laser with broken circular symmetry. Complex bifurcation sequences involving single-mode solutions, mode locking and mode beating regimes are predicted. These sequences are organised by a Z2-symmetric Takens-Bogdanov bifurcation together with a zero-detuning Hopf bifurcation with 1:1 resonance that leads to an unexpected cyclic spatio-temporal symmetry of order 4. Numerical simulations of the original system show good agreement with theory.
- centre manifold
- spatial patterns in nonlinear optics
- symmetric bifurcation theory
- Maxwell-Bloch lasers