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Quantum Decay of an Optical Soliton
preprintposted on 2023-02-04, 17:01 authored by Stuart Ward, Rouzbeh Allahverdi, Arash Mafi
Optical solitons are known to be classically stable objects which are robust to perturbations. In this work, we show that due to quantum mechanical effects, an optical soliton that is initially in a classical soliton coherent state will shed photons into the continuum and hence decay. The standard formulation of the quantized soliton uses the linearized version of the quantum nonlinear Schrodinger equation in the background of the classical soliton, and the quantized soliton remains stable in this approximation. We show that if higher-order interaction terms are taken into account, the soliton is no longer stable, and its photon number decreases quadratically as a function of the number of soliton cycles. We compute the power spectrum for the continuum radiation and find a narrow band that is localized about the initial soliton momentum with a cut-off that is inversely proportional to the initial soliton width.