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Collisions of counterpropagating optical solitons

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Abstract

We present numerical simulations of colliding counterpropagating solitons traversing a relaxation-free atomic vapor. The collisions produce appreciable spatially localized inversion of the atomic population, even in the case of colliding solitary 2π hyperbolic-secant pulses. The energy deposited in the atoms and lost from the pulses determines the pulse widths, energies, and phase shifts of the postcollision pulses. This energy subsequently appears as fluorescence. We present results that illustrate the role of the residual atomic excitation energy on postcollisional solitary pulses. In addition, we show that for certain conditions a low-density medium is transparent to nonsolitary π pulses.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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