Two-dimensional front dynamics and spatial solitons in a nonlinear optical system

T. Ackemann, M. Pesch, W. Lange, D. Gomila, W.J. Firth, G.L. Oppo

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Two-dimensional fronts and coarsening dynamics with a t1/2 power law are analyzed experimentally and theoretically in a nonlinear optical system of a sodium vapor cell with single-mirror feedback. Modifications of the t1/2 power law are observed in the vicinity of a modulational instability leading to the formation of spatial solitons of different sizes. The experimental and numerical observations give direct evidence for the locking of fronts as the mechanism of soliton formation. A phenomenological equation for the dynamics of the domain radius explains the observed behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Article number153902
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • optics
  • front dynamics
  • spatial solitons
  • nonlinear optical system

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