Archive ouverte HAL – Wave breaking and formation of dispersive shock waves in a defocusing nonlinear optical material

M. Isoard 1 A. M. Kamchatnov 2 N. Pavloff 1

M. Isoard, A. M. Kamchatnov, N. Pavloff. Wave breaking and formation of dispersive shock waves in a defocusing nonlinear optical material. Physical Review A, American Physical Society 2019, 99 (5), ⟨10.1103/PhysRevA.99.053819⟩. ⟨hal-02291908⟩

We theoretically describe the quasi one-dimensional transverse spreading of a light pulse propagating in a nonlinear optical material in the presence of a uniform background light intensity. For short propagation distances the pulse can be described within a nondispersive approximation by means of Riemann's approach. For larger distances, wave breaking occurs, leading to the formation of dispersive shocks at both ends of the pulse. We describe this phenomenon within Whitham modulation theory, which yields an excellent agreement with numerical simulations. Our analytic approach makes it possible to extract the leading asymptotic behavior of the parameters of the shock.

  • 1. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques
  • 2. Institute of Spectroscopy