Abstract

Optical pulses, which propagate under the combined effects of nonlinearity, dispersion, and diffraction, may collapse in space and time. The standard method for analyzing these collapses is the aberrationless paraxial ray approximation. This method is known to give a quantitatively correct, although not particularly accurate, picture of most properties of the pulse dynamics. However, it is found that the predictions for some of the important pulse parameters are qualitatively wrong and could lead to incorrect conclusions. An alternative variational approach is suggested that remedies these deficiencies and gives results in good agreement with numerical results.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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