Abstract

Intense light propagating in a nonlinear medium can generate an ensemble of interacting filaments of light, or spatial solitons. Using nematic liquid crystals, we demonstrate that the filaments exhibit collective behavior typical of complex systems, including the formation of clusters and soundlike vibrations, as well as the reduction of the configurational entropy, controlled by the degree of nonlocality of the medium.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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