We demonstrate self-trapped laser beams carrying phase singularities in nematic liquid crystals. We experimentally observe the astigmatic transformation of vortex beams into spiraling dipole azimuthons accompanied by power-dependent charge-flipping of the on-axis phase singularity. The latter topological reactions involve triplets of vortex lines and resemble pitchfork bifurcations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics