Abstract

Symmetry breaking of solitons in a class of one-dimensional parity-time (PT) symmetric complex potentials with cubic nonlinearity is reported. In generic PT-symmetric potentials, such symmetry breaking is forbidden. However, in a special class of PT-symmetric potentials V(x)=g2(x)+αg(x)+ig(x), where g(x) is a real and even function and α a real constant, symmetry breaking of solitons can occur. That is, a branch of non-PT-symmetric solitons can bifurcate out from the base branch of PT-symmetric solitons when the base branch’s power reaches a certain threshold. At the bifurcation point, the base branch changes stability, and the bifurcated branch can be stable.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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