John Dudley - Research and Outreach in Physics

Photo Credit Dan Curticapean


Professor John M Dudley
Department of Optics 
Institut FEMTO-ST
CNRS-University of Franche-Comté
15B Avenue des Montboucons
Besançon, France 

Email: john.dudley "at"
Twitter: @johnmdudley 
Google Scholar

New Website

This personal website will not be updated any more but it still contains some links that may be useful.  My new website hosted at FEMTO-ST is here.    


MULTIWAVE is an interdisciplinary European Research Council (ERC) project at the frontiers of mathematics, physics and engineering which will explore important open questions in nonlinear wave propagation and turbulence and the emergence of extreme events. MULTIWAVE combines the expertise of two Advanced Co-Investigators : myself and 
Professor Dias from UCD Dublin  in order to carry out the interdisciplinary studies of the nonlinear effects. A central element of the work builds on recent international developments in the field of nonlinear waves led by the co-investigators that have shown how analogies between optical systems and the deep ocean provide important new insights into the generation of the infamous hydrodynamic rogue waves observed on the ocean. The website of the MULTIWAVE ERC provides more details.  

International Year of Light 2015

A partnership of over 100 scientific societies and organizations from more than 85 countries has successfully led an initiative to have the year 2015 declared the International Year of Light at the United Nations General Assembly.   The science and technology of light have revolutionized medicine, have opened up international communication, and are central to linking the cultural, economic and political aspects of the world. Advances in light-based technology are crucial for sustainable development, they open up new educational horizons, they preserve cultural heritage, and address issues of climate change.  An International Year of Light will raise public and international political awareness of the importance of light for the future of global society. 

Please check out the amazing official website at

Brief Biography

Originally from South Auckland in New Zealand, John Dudley received B.Sc and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Auckland in 1987 and 1992 respectively. In 1992 and 1993, he carried out postdoctoral research at the University of St Andrews in Scotland before taking a lecturing position in 1994 at the University of Auckland. In 2000, he was appointed Professor at the University of Franche-Comte in Besancon, France, where he heads the Optoelectronics and Photonics research group that currently consists of around 12 permanent staff & 20 contractual staff and/or graduate students. His research interests cover broad themes in nonlinear and ultrafast optics, and he is currently co-laureate of an European Research Council Advanced Grant with Professor Frederic Dias of UCD Dublin to study the physics of extreme waves in optics and hydrodynamics. 

He was named a member of the Institut Universitaire de France in 2005 and elected a Fellow of the Optical Society of America in 2007. He was an IEEE LEOS Distinguished Lecturer for the period 2008-2010 and is Past Chair of the Quantum Electronics and Optics Division of the European Physical Society. In 2009, he was awarded the Grand Prix de l'Electronique Général Ferrié from the Société des Electriciens et Electroniciens (SEE) and has also received a research award from the IXCORE Foundation. He is currently a Deputy Editor of the OSA journal Optics Express, and he participates in OSA and SPIE Travelling Lecturer programmes. He was elected as a Fellow of the IEEE in 2011 and a Fellow of the European Optical Society in 2012, and received the CNRS Silver Medal in 2013.  
He is serving as President of the European Physical Society until 2015.


This Google-hosted site gives an overview of some selected research activities that I have been involved in over many years.  This complements the official site of the Optoelectronics Group that I currently direct at the CNRS Institut FEMTO-ST and the University of Franche-Comté.  This site (in French) is located here.  

I will try to post links to most recent research activities but these will almost certainly be out of date.  To find out what I am doing, look at my Google Scholar Profile or my Linkedin Profile which will be updated more frequently.  The website of the MULTIWAVE ERC project is also a good place to look.  


I am happy to speak on various topics to diverse audiences, from non-specialist to experts.  A list of possible talk topics is here.  Please email me and we can see we can find a date that suits. Talks can be given either in English or in French. 

Other (older) pages on my research are below:

Ultrafast Optics

Supercontinuum Generation and Nonlinear Fibre Optics 

Rogue Waves

Femtosecond Machining and Light-Matter Interactions

History of Science


Other writing that may of interest are here.

Defending Basic Research, Nature Photonics Commentary (2013) Preprint Here

Challenge of Communication, Europhysics News Editorial (2013)

Surviving in Science, Europhysics News Editorial (2013)

Educating Upwards, e-EPS Editorial (2013)

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Official IYL2015 website now online.


OSA Optics in 2013 highlights our work on real time measurements.

Hydrodynamic Supercontinuum PRL here

Bessel vortex beams used to machine graphene. APL here.

Real time noise now measured across a full supercontinuum. Paper in Scientific Reports is here.

Cascaded phase matching explains many effects previously only poorly understood.  Our PRL is here.  

OSA Optics in 2012 highlights our work on accelerating beams.

Observation of the Kuznetsov-Ma soliton in fiber optics.  Paper in Scientific Reports is here.

Commentary on Fractal Optics in Nature Photonics is here.

A fantastic group photo from the ROGUE conference in Dresden has now been posted here.  

Interesting citation statistic of our 2006 RMP paper

Supercontinuum Generation Book from Cambridge University Press: order here.

YouTube videos of Feynman's QED lecture here (see 1994 article)


Follow this link for a list of other papers and older downloads.