Optical solitons as quantum objects

Pomeau, Y.
Berre, M. Le
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The intensity of classical bright solitons propagating in linearly coupled identical fibers can be distributed either in a stable symmetric state at strong coupling or in a stable asymmetric state if the coupling is small enough. In the first case, if the initial state is not the equilibrium state, the intensity may switch periodically from fiber to fiber, while in the second case the a-symmetrical state remains forever, with most of its energy in either fiber. The latter situation makes a state of propagation with two exactly reciprocal realizations. In the quantum case, such a situation does not exist as an eigenstate because of the quantum tunneling between the two fibers. Such a tunneling is a purely quantum phenomenon which does not not exist in the classical theory. We estimate the rate of tunneling by quantizing a simplified dynamics derived from the original Lagrangian equations with test functions. This tunneling could be within reach of the experiments, particularly if the quantum coherence of the soliton can be maintained over a sufficient amount of time.
Comment: about 17 Pages, 9 Figures
Physics - Optics