Beam propagation in multimode graded-index parabolic optical fibers in the presence of group-velocity dispersion and Kerr nonlinearity is theoretically investigated. It is shown that a modulational instability arising from the periodic spatial focusing of the beam takes place regardless of the sign of fiber dispersion, leading to a highly nonlinear space–time dynamics and the generation of ultrashort optical pulses.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
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