Abstract

Temporal cavity solitons (CSs) are pulses of light persisting in driven nonlinear cavities [1,2]. They can be described using the ubiquitous AC-driven nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLSE), also known as the Lugiato-Lefever equation (LLE) [3], and they belong to the broad class of localised dissipative structures (LDSs). Like all solitons and solitary waves, temporal CSs, and LDSs in general, interact when sufficiently close to each other. Because of the dissipative and non-integrable nature of the underlying system, temporal CSs do not necessarily maintain their individuality in collision events: They can merge with each other or even annihilate [4]. Merging and annihilation can also occur with solitons in conservative, non-integrable systems where excess energy is transferred to background radiation, and this was extensively reported in optics [5]. Quantitative experiments on LDS interactions, i.e., in dissipative systems, are however scarce and restricted so far to gas discharges [6] and parametrically-driven water waves [7]. Here, we extend these studies to optics by reporting merging and annihilation of temporal CSs in a passive driven Kerr fiber cavity with output energy ejection. This also provides insights into other physical systems that obey the generic LLE, as well as to LDS dynamics in general.

© 2015 IEEE

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