Magnetic field control over microscopic symmetry properties of an optical pattern-forming system: theory

Yu A. Logvin, A. Aumann, M. Tegeler, T. Ackemann, W. Lange

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Recent experimental work demonstrates a rich transition scenario between patterns of different symmetry (hexagons and squares) close to and beyond threshold in a sodium vapour cell with optical feedback dependent on the magnitude of an external magnetic field. We reproduce the observations in numerical simulations and explain them by calculating the quadratic coupling coefficient between inhomogeneous modes which determines the pattern selection close to threshold. The observed scenario is in accordance with expectations based on general symmetry principles and should occur in many systems, but apparently only in optical systems is it possible to tune the parameters continuously over a sufficiently large area to observe the complete bifurcation scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-431
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Optics B: Quantum and Semiclassical Optics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2000


  • solitons
  • cavity solitons
  • solitary waves
  • bifurcation (mathematics)
  • boundary Conditions
  • computer simulation
  • laser beams
  • light polarization
  • magnetic fields
  • mathematical models
  • optical microscopy
  • optical pumping

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