Allan W. Snyder, Institute of Advanced Studies, The Australian National Unviersity, Canberra Australia
Unlike linear waves, solitons create their own channel as they travel in a uniform medium, remaining localized and preserving their shape. Whereas linear waves always pass through one another, solitons can be dramatically altered by collisions. They can annihilate one another, fuse, or create multiple solitons. These phenomena turn out to be important to the emerging technology of light guiding light and light written circuitry. To pursue this technology, we need to understand how such waves interact in an arbitrary nonlinear medium.
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