Two dimensional counterpropagating spatial solitons in photorefractive crystals.
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We demonstrate experimentally the existence of two transverse-dimensional counterpropagating (CP) incoherent spatial solitons in a 5 x 5 x 23 mm SBN:60Ce photorefractive crystal and investigate their dynamical behavior. We carry out numerical simulations that confirm our experimental findings. Substantially different behavior from the copropagating incoherent solitons is found. A symmetry breaking transition from stable overlapping CP solitons to unstable transversely displaced CP solitons is observed. We perform linear stability analysis that predicts the threshold for the split-up transition, in qualitative agreement with numerical simulations and experimental results.