Observation of a gradient catastrophe generating solitons

Claudio Conti*, Andrea Fratalocchi, Marco Peccianti, Giancarlo Ruocco, Stefano Trillo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


We investigate the propagation of a dark beam in a defocusing medium in the strong nonlinear regime. We observe for the first time a shock fan filled with noninteracting one-dimensional gray solitons that emanates from a gradient catastrophe developing around a null of the optical intensity. This scenario turns out to be very robust, persisting also when the material nonlocal response averages the nonlinearity over dimensions much larger than the emerging soliton filaments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083902
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 23 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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