A. L. M. Muniz, M. Wimmer, A. Bisianov, R. Morandotti, U. Peschel, “Collapse on the line – how synthetic dimensions influence nonlinear effects,” Scientific Reports 9, 9518 (2019).
Power induced wave collapse is one of the most fascinating phenomena in optics as it provides extremely high intensities, thus stimulating a range of nonlinear processes. For low power levels, propagation of beams in bulk media is dominated by diffraction, while above a certain threshold self-focusing is steadily enhanced by the action of a positive nonlinearity. An autocatalytic blow-up occurs, which is only stopped by saturation of the nonlinearity, material damage or the inherent medium discreteness. In the latter case, this leads to energy localization on a single site. It is commonly believed that for cubic nonlinearities, this intriguing effect requires at least two transverse dimensions to occur and is thus out of reach in fiber optics. Following the concept of synthetic dimensions, we demonstrate that mixing short and long-range interaction resembles a two-dimensional mesh lattice and features wave collapse at mW-power levels in a genuine 1D system formed by coupled fiber loops.