Solitons have fascinated scientists in numerous fields of physics—including, for example, fluid dynamics and plasmas. In optics, a careful balance between the dispersive and nonlinear effects that take place in a pulsed-laser cavity can prevent the generated pulses from being temporally diffused and, instead, give rise to short and stable waveforms, the optical solitons. Solitons are resistant against perturbations and can develop attractive and repulsive forces between them, similar to chemical molecules. By harnessing these interactions, bound states between soliton pulses can be observed, often referred to as soliton molecules; these states can be either time-varying or stationary. Observed macroscopically, the bonds within stationary soliton molecules will appear strong. However, a closer study may reveal a timing jitter between the bound pulses. The paper by H. Shi et al. presents detailed jitter measurements on soliton pairs with a femtosecond resolution, revealing that the pulses undergo a random walk when observed at a suitably short time scale. The study offers a further insight into the binding strength of soliton molecules and will contribute towards the development of detailed models of nonlinear systems.
You must log in
to add comments.