Gravity-like potential traps light and stretches optical supercontinuum

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


The use of photonic crystal fibers pumped by femtosecond pulses has enabled the generation of broad optical supercontinua with nano-joule input energies. This striking discovery has applications ranging from spectroscopy and metrology to telecommunication and medicine. Amongst the physical principles underlying supercontinuum generation are soliton fission, a variety of four-wave mixing processes, Raman induced soliton self-frequency shift, and dispersive wave generation mediated by solitons. Although all of the above effects contribute to supercontinuum generation none of them can explain the generation of blue and violet light from infrared femtosecond pump pulses, which has been seen already in the first observations of the supercontinuum in photonic crystal fibers. In this work we argue that the most profound role in the shaping of the short-wavelength edge of the continuum is played by the effect of radiation trapping in a gravity-like potential created by accelerating solitons. The underlying physics of this effect has a straightforward analogy with the inertial forces acting on an observer moving with a constant acceleration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNonlinear Photonics, NP 2007
PublisherOptical Society of America
ChapterTemporal Effects and Analysis (NThB)
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)1557528470, 9781557528476
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventNonlinear Photonics, NP 2007 - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: 2 Sept 20072 Sept 2007


ConferenceNonlinear Photonics, NP 2007
CityQuebec City

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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