Spatial optical solitons

Wieslaw Krolikowski

Laser Physics Centre, Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering,
Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia

Abstract: Propagation of the finite-size optical beam is accompanied by its spreading due to diffraction. Sometimes diffraction can be eliminated via the nonlinear interaction of the beam and the material. When this occurs the beam propagates without changing its shape forming spatial optical soliton. Great variety of solitons and soliton-related effects have been studied theoretically and observed experimentally using various nonlinear physical effects and materials. Spatial solitons appear to be very robust, particle-like objects exhibiting interesting collisional properties. In particular, they may spiral around each other, annihilate or give birth to new solitons. They can also exist in form of composite objects consisting of few mutually incoherent components ("light molecules") creating different optical patterns such as multipole-vector solitons. In this talk I will discuss the basic concept of the spatial soliton, review various types of solitons, their individual properties and their interactions.