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Photorefractive Spatial Solitons: Fundamentals and Applications
Rept. 15 Apr 1996-14 Dec 1999
ARKANSAS UNIV FAYETTEVILLE DEPT OF PHYSICS
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In this program, we have studied, experimentally and theoretically, the fundamental properties of photorefractive spatial solitons and the features of the interactions between and among them. We brought the topic of photorefractive solitons to the very front of soliton science and of nonlinear optics. In our work, we have put much emphasis on studying properties and features that are universal to all solitons in nature, even to those in fields that are very remote from optics. We have discovered a family of entirely new solitons Incoherent Solitons, which can exist in any non-instantaneous nonlinear media in nature. We have shown that solitons interacting in full 3D media manifest particle properties such as conservation of angular momentum which a decade ago were thought to be absurd with respect to solitons. Finally, we have demonstrated the feasibility of a list of applications that are unique to photorefractive solitons, the most important ones being 1 nonlinear frequency conversion in soliton-induced waveguides, and 2 fixing 2D solitons into the crystalline lattice of the nonlinear medium Integrated Optics in 3D. At the beginning of this program, there were not more than 3-4 additional groups in the US studying optical spatial solitons, and not more than 10 world wide. Today, much of it following our work, optical spatial solitons have become a platform for studies of all soliton phenomena, and have attracted more than 50 groups world wide. The best evidence for that in the number of participants in the last Conference on Nonlinear Guided Waves and Their Applications, which was doubled between from the 1996 and 1998 conferences to the 1999 conference.
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