Self-similar optical wave collapse: Observation of the Townes profile

K. D. Moll*, Alexander L. Gaeta, Gadi Fibich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

276 Scopus citations


An overview is given of detailed experimental observations of the universal, self-similar nature of optical wave collapse due to Kerr nonlinearity self-focusing for randomly distorted and elliptical beams. The observations reveal that the spatial profile evolves to a specific circularly symmetric shape, known as the Townes profile, for elliptically shaped or randomly distorted input beams.

Original languageEnglish
Article number203902
Pages (from-to)203902/1-203902/4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - 23 May 2003


FundersFunder number
National Science FoundationPHY-9987990
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation2000311


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