Self-Trapping of Partially Spatially Incoherent Light Beams

Matthew Mitchell, Zhigang Chen, Ming-feng Shih, and Mordechai Segev, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.

Here, we report the first observation of self-trapping of a "partially" spatially incoherent optical beam in a nonlinear medium. Self-trapping occurs in both transverse dimensions, when diffraction is exactly balanced by photorefractive self-focusing. We have used the photorefractive nonlinearity associated with photorefractive solitons as the self trapping mechanism and generated a stable, two-dimensional, 30-μm wide, spatially incoherent self-trapped beam.

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