Hydrodynamic supercontinuum

A. Chabchoub*, N. Hoffmann, M. Onorato, G. Genty, J. M. Dudley, N. Akhmediev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


We report the experimental observation of multi-bound-soliton solutions of the nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLS) in the context of hydrodynamic surface gravity waves. Higher-order N-soliton solutions with N=2, 3 are studied in detail and shown to be associated with self-focusing in the wave group dynamics and the generation of a steep localized carrier wave underneath the group envelope. We also show that for larger input soliton numbers, the wave group experiences irreversible spectral broadening, which we refer to as a hydrodynamic supercontinuum by analogy with optics. This process is shown to be associated with the fission of the initial multisoliton into individual fundamental solitons due to higher-order nonlinear perturbations to the NLS. Numerical simulations using an extended NLS model described by the modified nonlinear Schrödinger equation, show excellent agreement with experiment and highlight the universal role that higher-order nonlinear perturbations to the NLS play in supercontinuum generation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054104
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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