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Albert Ferrando et al- Vortex Transmutation

Albert Ferrando et al- Vortex Transmutation

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Vortex Transmutation
Albert Ferrando,
1,2,
*Mario Zacare´s,
3,
*Miguel-A´ngel Garcı´a-March,
1,2,
*Juan A. Monsoriu,
4,
*and Pedro Ferna´ndez de Co´rdoba
2,
*
1
 Departament d’O` ptica, Universitat de Vale`ncia, Dr. Moliner, 50, E-46100 Burjassot (Vale`ncia), Spain
2
 Departamento de Matema´ tica Aplicada and IMPA-UPV, Universidad Polite´ cnica de Valencia,Camino de Vera, s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain
3
 Instituto de Ingenierı´ a Energe´ tica, Universidad Polite´ cnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera, s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain
4
 Departamento de Fı´ sica Aplicada, Universidad Polite´ cnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera, s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain
(Received 4 May 2005; published 12 September 2005)Using group theory arguments and numerical simulations, we demonstrate the possibility of changingthe vorticity or topological charge of an individual vortex by means of the action of a system possessing adiscrete rotational symmetry of finite order. We establish on theoretical grounds a ‘‘transmutation passrule’’determining the conditions for this phenomenon to occur and numerically analyze it in the context of two-dimensional optical lattices. An analogous approach is applicable to the problems of Bose-Einsteincondensates in periodic potentials.
DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.95.123901PACS numbers: 42.65.Tg, 03.75.Lm, 42.70.Qs
Vortices are a physical phenomenon common to allcomplex waves. Defined by a phase singularity implyingthe vanishing of the wave amplitude, their presence isubiquitous in physics where examples of vortices can befound in as diverse systems as quantized superfluids andsuperconductors, Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC’s),non-linear optical structures, or low dimensional condensedmatter or particle systems (for a review see [1,2]). Thepossibility of changing vortex properties using peri-odic systems is a natural step based on the well-knownexample of the different behavior of electrons with orwithout the presence of a crystal. Like electrons, the prop-erties of vortices in a lattice have been shown to be quali-tatively different from those in a homogeneous medium.Vortices have been numerically predicted to exist in two-dimensional (2D) arrays of coupled waveguides [3], in 2Dperiodic dielectric media with Kerr nonlinearities—and,equivalently, in 2D BEC’s with periodic potentials—[4,5],and in photonic crystal fibers with defects [6]. They havebeen experimentally observed in optically-induced squarephotonic lattices [7,8]. In all cases, the periodic mediumhas a strong influence on vortex features thus opening thepossibilities for their external manipulation. In this Letter,we will show how the vorticity or topological charge of avortex—its most fundamental feature—can be manipu-lated by means of an external system that possesses adiscrete rotational symmetry.Angular momentum is conserved in a nonlinear mediumwith
O
2
rotational symmetry in the
x
-
y
plane describedby a first-order evolution equation of the type
L
j
j
ÿ
i@=@z
for the complex scalar field
. If we consider asolution with well-defined angular momentum
l
2
Z
[i.e.,an eigenfunction of the angular momentum operator
ÿ
i@=@
:
l
e
il
 f 
l
r
] at a given axial point
z
0
, itsevolution will preserve the value of 
l
for all
z
. In a systempossessing a discrete point-symmetry (described by the
n
and
nv
groups) the angular momentum is no longerconserved. However, in this case one can define anotherquantity
m
2
Z
, the Bloch or pseudoangular momentum,which is conserved during propagation [9]. The pseudoan-gular momentum
m
plays then the role of 
l
in a system withdiscrete rotational symmetry. From the group theory pointof view, the angular and pseudoangular momenta
l
and
m
are also the indices of the 2D irreducible representations of 
O
2
and
n
, respectively [10–12]. Unlike
l
, the values of 
m
are limited by the order of the point-symmetry group
n
:
j
m
j
n=
2
[9,12].The appearance of this upper bound for the pseudoan-gular momentum
m
opens the interesting question of de-termining the behavior of solutions propagating in an
O
2
rotational invariant medium with well-defined angular mo-mentum
l
after impinging a medium with discrete symme-try of finite order in which the value of 
l
exceeds the upperbound for pseudoangular momentum. This question can beanalyzed in the light of group theory. Let us consider awave propagating in an
O
2
nonlinear medium corre-sponding to a solution
l
(not necessarily stationary)with well-defined angular momentum
l
launched into asecond nonlinear medium characterized by the
n
group.The surface separating the two media defines an
O
2
-
n
interface that we locate at
z
0
. We assume that itsevolution is first order in
z
:
L
j
j
ÿ
i@=@z
. Itsevolution in the second medium is thus fully determinedby the initial condition
l
0
. The initial field
l
0
willexcite a different representation of the
n
group dependingon the value of 
l
. Once this second wave is excited, it willpropagate in the
n
medium by preserving its representa-tion—defined by its pseudoangular momentum
m
. Let
m
be a function in the representation of 
n
characterized byindex
m
. Let us determine now which values of 
l
areallowed by symmetry to produce a nonzero projection of 
l
0
onto
m
for a given value of 
m
. The projectionPRL
95,
123901 (2005)PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
week ending16 SEPTEMBER 2005
0031-9007
=
05
=
95(12)
=
123901(4)$23.00 123901-1
©
2005 The American Physical Society
 
coefficient is given by
c
ml
R
R
2
m
r;
l
r;
;0
. Since
m
and
l
belong to representations of 
n
and
O
2
,respectively, they both properly transform under a discreterotation of order
n
:
m
r;
2
=n
e
im
2
=n
m
r;
and
l
r;
2
=n
e
il
2
=n
l
r;
. Thus, by per-forming the change of variable
!
2
=n
in the defi-nition of 
c
ml
one arrives at the symmetry relation
c
ml
exp
i
l
ÿ
m
2
=n
c
ml
. The
c
ml
coefficient is thenzero unless the following condition is fulfilled:
l
ÿ
m
kn
k
2
Z
 ;
where
j
m
j
n
2
:
(1)The
m
representation of 
n
is thus excited by initial fieldshaving angular momenta
l
m;m
n;m
2
n;
...
. In an
O
2
-
O
2
interface each representation of angular mo-mentum
m
in the second medium is excited by one, andonly one, angular momentum component
l
arising from thefirst medium and verifying
l
m
. Contrarily, in an
O
2
-
n
interface the symmetry restriction (1) impliesthat, due to the cutoff 
j
m
j
n=
2
in the
n
medium, thereare infinite angular momenta
l
that can excite a givenrepresentation of index
m
in the second medium.Thus, when the incident field carries an angular momen-tum
l
that overcomes the limiting value for pseudoangularmomentum inthe secondmedium, it will excite awave thatwill propagate with
different 
constant pseudoangular mo-mentum
m
given by the ‘‘pass rule’’ (1). This result is validfor waves verifying an equation of the type
L
j
j
ÿ
i@=@z
, linear or nonlinear, stationary or evolving. Aparticularly interesting situation occurs when the incidentfield is a vortex field of the
O
2
nonlinear medium. Thisvortex field
v
l
is a stationary solution of the evolutionequation with well-defined angular momentum
l
Þ
0
:
L
j
v
l
j
v
l
ÿ

v
l
. We consider here individual ‘ca-nonicalvortices with a single phase singularity (i.e.,with only one point in which
v
l
0
):
v
l
r;;z
e
il
 f 
v
l
r
e
ÿ
iz
[13]. The vorticity or topological charge of such solutions will be given by the circulation of its phasegradient around the singularity
v
1
=
2
 
H
r
arg
v
l
d
r
, which equals the angular momentum for ca-nonical vortices
v
l
. On the other hand, the propagatingwave
m
with pseudoangular momentum
m
excited by
v
l
will evolve in the
n
medium. There are different optionsfor the asymptotic states of 
m
when
z
!1
. One possi-bility is that this wave asymptotically tends to a stationarysolution
m

!
z
!1
v
m
r;;z
e
im
g
m
r;
e
ÿ
i
0
z
in therepresentation of 
n
given by the conserved pseudoangularmomentum
m
. If 
v
m
has a single phase singularity then itwill have the structure of an individual canonical discrete-symmetry vortex, its vorticity or topological charge
v
0
being directly given by
m
:
v
0
m
[12]. The formation inthe
n
medium of an asymptotic stationary state in theform of a discrete-symmetry vortex is a dynamical issuethat depends on the structural parameters of the secondmedium as well as on the characteristics of the input vortexfield
v
l
. If dynamics allows the stabilization of thediscrete-symmetry vortex solution, the
O
2
-
n
interfacewill realize the mapping of an
O
2
vortex with charge
v
l
(exceeding the limiting value for pseudoangular momen-tum) into a
n
vortex with charge
v
0
m
Þ
0
, such that
v
0
<v
. The pass rule for pseudoangular momentum (1)becomes a pass rule relating input and output vorticities:
v
ÿ
v
0
kn
k
2
Z
 ;
(2)where
v
0
presents a cutoff in terms of 
n
given by:
j
v
0
j
<n=
2
(even
n
) and
j
v
0
j
n
ÿ
1
=
2
(odd
n
) [12]. Note that
m
n=
2
solutions are not vortices but nodal or dipole-mode solitons [12]. Wewill refer to the process of mappingan individual vortex into another with different topologicalcharge as ‘‘vortex transmutation.’’We will provide now a physical example of a system inwhich the phenomenon of vortex transmutation takesplace. It is an optical interface separating two 2D dielectricmedia with Kerr nonlinearity, these two media being ahomogeneous medium and a 2D square optical lattice.This system is equivalent to a 2D BEC in which a periodicpotential is abruptly switched on. They constitute an
O
2
-
4
interface given by the following equation:
r
2
t
ÿ
 x;y;z
z
j
j
2
ÿ
i@@z;
(3)in which
r
t
is the 2D gradient operator and
 x;y;z
0
z

1
 x;y
ÿ
0
where
z
is the step functionand
0
and
1
 x;y
1
cos
2
2
 
x
cos
2
2
 
y

(
1
isthe potential strength and
is the lattice spatial period)define the refractive index profile of the homogeneousmedium and of the 2D optical lattice, respectively:
0
ÿ
n
2
ÿ
n
20
and
1
x
ÿ
n
2
x
ÿ
n
20
,
n
0
being a refer-ence refractive index introduced by the slowly varyingenvelope approximation. The nonlinear function
z
1
ÿ
z
permits the nonlinear response of thesystem to be different in the two media. All distancesappearing in Eq. (3) are normalized and dimensionless(
x
k
0
x
0
,
z
k
0
z
0
). In order to solve the evolution prob-lem in this system we solve first Eq. (3) for
z <
0
, whichbecomes an ordinary nonlinear Schro¨dinger equation(NLSE) for a homogeneous medium. Since our aim is toevidence the phenomenon of vortex transmutation we areinterested in finding canonical vortex solitons of differentcharges in the homogeneous
O
2
medium:
v
l
x
 ;z
e
il
 f 
v
l
r
e
ÿ
iz
. This can be done by standard methods. Ata given value of 
l
, a family of 
O
2
vortices are foundcharacterized by their power
P
l
R
R
2
j
v
l
j
2
and theirpropagation constant
, which are related through therelation
P
l
. In the case of a Kerr nonlinearity,
be-haves as a scaling parameter and
P
l
is
independent [1].Oncethevortexsolution
v
l
is found,it istaken asan initialsolution for propagating it in the 2D optical lattice (
z >
0
):
x
 ;
0
v
l
x
 ;
0
e
il
 f 
v
l
r
. Thus we solve Eq. (3) for
z>
0
, which becomes a NLSE with the periodic potentialPRL
95,
123901 (2005)PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
week ending16 SEPTEMBER 2005
123901-2
 
1
x
satisfying the previous initial condition. This issolved numerically using a standard split-step Fourier evo-lution method.According to our previous symmetry arguments, theevolution of the
wave for
z>
0
has to occur in a waythat the pass rule for angular momentum (1) is fulfilled.The
O
2
vortex soliton
v
l
carrying angular momentum
l
will excite a propagating wave
m
for
z >
0
in a repre-sentation of 
4
with pseudoangular momentum
m
given byEq. (1). Indeed, numerical evidence of this pass rule isobtained by analyzing the rotational symmetry of theevolving field. By construction, the input momentum is
l
since we choose the solution to be of the form
v
l
x
 ;z
e
il
 f 
v
l
r
e
ÿ
iz
for
z
0
. In order to check the symmetryproperties of the solution for
z>
0
, we numerically evalu-ate the rotated field
r;;z
r;
=
2
 ;z
at everystep in
z
and compare it to its unrotated value
r;;z
. If 
belongs to the
m
representation of 
4
,
r;
=
2
 ;z
e
im=
2
r;;z
and the ratio
=
will have aconstant value for all
x
2
R
2
(with the exception of 
x
0
,where rotations are ill defined) and
z>
0
:
=
e
im=
2
.If this condition is satisfied, the value of 
m
can be directlyextracted from the numerical ratio
=
. Indeed, the inde-pendence of the
=
ratio from transverse coordinates isnumerically verified at every axial step, which permits theevaluation of 
m
for different values of 
z >
0
. Results areshown in Fig. 1. These results nicely confirm generalcondition (1).Once the angular momentum pass rule is checked therepersists still the question of the fake of the propagatingwave in the
4
medium. As predicted by the theory,
m
isnumerically conserved during evolution. However, theasymptotic behavior of the
m
evolving field can be verydifferent depending on the parameters of the incidentvortex field (its power
P
and its propagation constant
)and of the characteristics of the periodic potential
1
x
(the potential strength
1
and the lattice period
). Ourinterest lies in obtaining asymptotic stationary states whichcan be described as individual or canonical discrete-symmetry vortices. This condition implies that the asymp-totic field has to present a single phase singularity. In otherwords, we want to exclude multivortex or cluster excita-tions. In order to achieve this feature, we enlarge theoptical lattice (by increasing its period
) according tothe size of the input vortex for increasing values of 
l
. Thus,in our simulations
is fixed by
l
.After performing many different simulations, we haveindeed found numerical evidence of the vortex transmuta-tion phenomenon. By playing with the input parameters
P
and
and the lattice strength
1
and period
, we havebeen able to find asymptotic stationary states
v
m
e
im
g
m
r;
e
ÿ
i
0
z
for different values of the input vorticityvalue
v
l
. The vorticity of the output field can be only
v
0
1
because of the vorticity cutoff for a
4
system(recall that
m
2
solutions are not vortices but nodal ordipole-mode solitons [12]). In Fig. 2 we show the ampli-tudes and phases of input and output vortices for differentinput vorticity values
v
. All of them verify the vorticitypass rule (2). The vortex transmutation phenomenon onlyoccurs when
j
v
j
>
2
. Similar results are found for thecorresponding input antivortices with negative values of 
v
. When, for fixed
v
l
(fixed
), the selection of 
P
,
,and
1
is not adequate, the asymptotic solution can benonstationary. We observe two different scenarios besidesthe stationary regime: discrete diffraction of the input wavein the optical lattice and self-focusing instability leading tofilamentation of the field. A thorough analysis of multipleconfigurations permits to elaborate a vortex transmutationphase diagram where the three different regimes can be
FIG. 1. Numerical confirmation of the angular momentumpass rule for different values of the angular momentum
l
of the incident vortex field: (a)
l
1
and
m
1
; (b)
l
3
and
m
ÿ
1
; (c)
l
5
and
m
1
; (d)
l
7
and
m
ÿ
1
.FIG. 2. Amplitudes and phases of input
O
2
vortices andoutput
4
vortices for different values of the input vorticity
v
:(a)
v
3
and
v
0
ÿ
1
(
P
2
:
5
,
2
,
1
2
,
1
:
3
);(b)
v
5
and
v
0
1
(
P
3
:
0
,
3
,
1
3
,
2
:
5
);(c)
v
7
and
v
0
ÿ
1
(
P
3
:
5
,
3
,
1
3
,
3
:
5
).
PRL
95,
123901 (2005)PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
week ending16 SEPTEMBER 2005
123901-3

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