We study the inelastic collisions between orthogonally polarized solitons in a
birefringent optical fiber. We show that if the collision is sufficiently slow,
one soliton may be destroyed by the other, or the two solitons may fuse into a
breatherlike solitary pulse. We derive a simple analytical estimate for this
soliton decay, based on a condition of spatial resonance between the two
solitons, and confirm this prediction by numerical simulations. Breakup of
colliding solitons with different polarizations may set a fundamental lower
bound to the soliton time width in soliton transmissions.
© 1991 Optical Society of America
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