Spatiotemporal Optical Vortices

N. Jhajj, I. Larkin, E. W. Rosenthal, S. Zahedpour, J. K. Wahlstrand, H. M. Milchberg
2016 Physical Review X  
We present the first experimental evidence, supported by theory and simulation, of spatiotemporal optical vortices (STOVs). Quantized STOVs are a fundamental element of the nonlinear collapse and subsequent propagation of short optical pulses in material media. A STOV consists of a ring-shaped null in the electromagnetic field about which the phase is spiral, forming a dynamic torus which is concentric with and tracks the propagating pulse. Depending on the sign of the material dispersion, the
more » ... ocal electromagnetic energy flow is saddle or spiral about the STOV. STOVs are born and evolve conserving topological charge; they can be simultaneously created in pairs with opposite windings, or generated from a point null. Our results, here obtained for optical pulse collapse and filamentation in air, are generalizable to broad class of nonlinearly propagating waves.
doi:10.1103/physrevx.6.031037 fatcat:havq64ziknbipkiuqpapsytnxy