A. Alberucci, C. P. Jisha, U. Peschel and S. Nolte, Effective breaking of the actionreaction principle using spatial solitons, Phys. Rev. A 100, 011802(R) (2019).
We discuss a class of interactions between self-confined optical beams breaking the action-reaction principle. The effective force intertwining the beams does not satisfy momentum conservation, paving the way to the potential existence of situations where both beams are pushed in the same direction, in turn leading to the so-called diametric drive. In our theoretical proposal the interaction between the two light beams is enabled by optical nonlinearity. The nonlinearity is assumed to change sign with the light polarization, in turn allowing the two light beams to be attracted or repelled by an inhomogeneous region according to the photon polarization. We demonstrate that this exotic type of nonlinear spin-orbit-like interaction can be achieved in nematic liquid crystals (NLCs). In fact, depending on the input polarization, in NLCs a change in temperature corresponds to a focusing or defocusing index change. For the polarization seeing a thermal defocusing response (corresponding to the extraordinary component), the self-confinement is ensured by the simultaneous action of reorientational nonlinearity.