We report on the first experimental observation of self-induced optical mode transformations in nonlocal nonlinear media. We show that the quadrupole Hermite-Gaussian mode experiences complex nonlinear dynamics in a nematic liquid crystal, including power-dependent conversion into a radially symmetric Laguerre-Gaussian mode. The physical mechanism responsible for self-induced transformation is the excitation of internal modes of a metastable quadrupole nonlocal soliton and its subsequent transmutation into a robust soliton with a bright peak surrounded by a bright ring. We also observe the onset of transformations of higher-order modes, proving the generic character of this nonlinear phenomenon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)