Abstract

The existence of a novel kind of soliton in dissipative systems with competing, noninstantaneous nonlinearities has been predicted and experimentally verified. These subcritically bifurcating solitons exist near a supercritical continuous wave bifurcation. We show that their peculiarities originate from different saturation behavior of nonlinear loss and gain with regard to power and energy. Branches of stable and unstable solitary waves have been identified. For the first time to our best knowledge, we have experimentally proved critical slowing down of solitons.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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