Modulational instability in nonlocal nonlinear Kerr media. Academic Article uri icon


  • We study modulational instability (MI) of plane waves in nonlocal nonlinear Kerr media. For a focusing nonlinearity we show that, although the nonlocality tends to suppress MI, it can never remove it completely, irrespective of the particular profile of the nonlocal response function. For a defocusing nonlinearity the stability properties depend sensitively on the response function profile: for a smooth profile (e.g., a Gaussian) plane waves are always stable, but MI may occur for a rectangular response. We also find that the reduced model for a weak nonlocality predicts MI in defocusing media for arbitrary response profiles, as long as the intensity exceeds a certain critical value. However, it appears that this regime of MI is beyond the validity of the reduced model, if it is to represent the weakly nonlocal limit of a general nonlocal nonlinearity, as in optics and the theory of Bose-Einstein condensates.

published proceedings

  • Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys

author list (cited authors)

  • Krolikowski, W., Bang, O., Rasmussen, J. J., & Wyller, J.

citation count

  • 326

complete list of authors

  • Krolikowski, W||Bang, O||Rasmussen, JJ||Wyller, J

publication date

  • July 2001