Schmidt decompositions of parametric processes I: Basic theory and simple examples
Journal article, 2013
Parametric devices based on four-wave mixing in fibers perform many signal-processing functions required by optical communication systems. In these devices, strong pumps drive weak signal and idler sidebands, which can have one or two polarization components, and one or many frequency components. The evolution of these components (modes) is governed by a system of coupled-mode equations. Schmidt decompositions of the associated transfer matrices determine the natural input and output mode vectors of such systems, and facilitate the optimization of device performance. In this paper, the basic properties of Schmidt decompositions are derived from first principles and are illustrated by two simple examples (one- and two-mode parametric amplification). In a forthcoming paper, several nontrivial examples relevant to current research (including four-mode parametric amplification) will be discussed.