Vacuum-induced jitter in spatial solitons

Elna M. Nagasako, Robert W. Boyd, G. S. Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We perform a calculation to determine how quantum mechanical fluctuations influence the propagation of a spatial soliton through a nonlinear material. To do so, we derive equations of motion for the linearized operators describing the deviation of the soliton position and transverse momentum from those of a corresponding classical solution to the nonlinear wave equation, and from these equations we determine the quantum uncertainty in the soliton position and transverse momentum. We find that under realistic laboratory conditions the quantum uncertainty in position is several orders of magnitude smaller the classical width of the soliton. This result suggests that the reliability of photonic devices based on spatial solitons is not compromised by quantum fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalOptics Express
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1998


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