Abstract

In an optical experiment, we report a wave turbulence regime that, starting with weakly nonlinear waves with randomized phases, shows an inverse cascade of photons toward the lowest wavenumbers. We show that the cascade is induced by a six-wave resonant interaction process and is characterized by increasing nonlinearity. At low wavenumbers the nonlinearity becomes strong and leads to modulational instability developing into solitons, whose number is decreasing farther along the beam.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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