Evidence of Chaotic Dynamics in Three-Soliton Collisions

Feifei Xin, Fabrizio Di Mei, Ludovica Falsi, Davide Pierangeli, Claudio Conti, Aharon J. Agranat, Eugenio DelRe

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We observe chaotic optical wave dynamics characterized by erratic energy transfer and soliton annihilation and creation in the aftermath of a three-soliton collision in a photorefractive crystal. Irregular dynamics are found to be mediated by the nonlinear Raman effect, a coherent interaction that leads to nonreciprocal soliton energy exchange. Results extend the analogy between solitons and particles to the emergence of chaos in three-body physics and provide new insight into the origin of the irregular dynamics that accompany extreme and rogue waves.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number133901
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - 24 Sep 2021

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