Light Guiding Light

Allan Snyder Optical Sciences Centre/Centre for the Mind, Australian National University
Darran Edmundson Optical Sciences Centre, Australian National University
Drew Whitehouse ANU Supercomputer Facility

A pseudo-schematic visualization of an all-optical device demonstrating the "light guiding light" concept. Rather than create fixed waveguides within the glass cube, an alternative approach is to use a nonlinear medium where the presence of light itself modifies the local refractive index. Narrow laser beams that would otherwise spread are trapped within "light pipes" of their own making. While these "solitons" are quite robust, they can also fuse and split through interactions with other solitons to potentially form complicated all-optical devices. (In this rendering, note how the red input beams are split into three other beams via collision with the blue beams.) Turn off the lasers and we are left once again with a homogeneous cube of inert glass ...

Drew Whitehouse ANU Supercomputer Facility
Last modified: Tue Jul 28 15:27:49 EST 1998