Comparison of principal modes and spatial eigenmodes in multimode optical fibre
Journal article, 2017

Optical waveguide theory is an established part of optical physics. Yet only recently have fundamental phenomena such as spatial eigenmodes and principal modes been demonstrated experimentally. This work leverages recently developed techniques enabling detailed spatiotemporal characterisation of multimode fibre to provide new insights into the fundamentals of fibre propagation. This paper presents detailed analysis of all 420 of a fibre's principal modes and spatial eigenmodes and compares the similarity and differences between these two phenomena. It was found that even over very short lengths, the principal modes can not only significantly suppress modal dispersion but are also a more physically meaningful basis than spatial eigenmodes.

mulimode optical waveguides

light scattering

fiber propagation

multimode optical fibre


J. Carpenter

School of Physics

University of Queensland

B. J. Eggleton

School of Physics

Jochen Schröder

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Photonics

Laser and Photonics Reviews

1863-8880 (ISSN) 1863-8899 (eISSN)

Vol. 11 1 1600259- 1600259

Areas of Advance

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (SO 2010-2017, EI 2018-)

Subject Categories


Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics



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