We experimentally demonstrate diffraction from a straight edge in a medium with self-focusing nonlinearity. Diffraction into the shadow region is suppressed with increasing nonlinearity, but mode coupling leads to excitations and traveling waves on the high-intensity side. Theoretically, we interpret these modulations as spatially dispersive shock waves with negative pressure.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: March 8, 2010
Revised Manuscript: June 15, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: June 17, 2010
Published: August 13, 2010
Wenjie Wan, Dmitry V. Dylov, Christopher Barsi, and Jason W. Fleischer, "Diffraction from an edge in a self-focusing medium," Opt. Lett. 35, 2819-2821 (2010)