Abstract

A perturbation theory for the short-pulse equation is developed to investigate the effects of various perturbations on optical solitons propagating in nonlinear media in the few femtosecond to subfemtosecond regime. The theory is formulated using a variational approach since linearization of the exact solution is not tractable. A variety of physically realizable perturbations are considered, culminating in perturbations that result from considering short-pulse mode locking. In each case, the analytic results presented are in agreement with full numerical simulations of the short-pulse theory. Given the tremendous success of soliton perturbation theory in the theoretical realm of optical solitons, the short-pulse perturbation theory attempts to provide the same theoretical framework for understanding physically realizable mechanisms that affect pulse evolution and stability when nearing the attosecond regime.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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