MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Can contained successive soliton waves induce increased light pressure?

Date: Thu Nov 12 11:15:14 1998
Posted By: Ronald Fisch, Physics, Washington University
Area of science: Physics
ID: 910335872.Ph

Your question is somewhat unclear to me, because I am not sure
what you mean by "increased light pressure".  Increased compared to what?

Soliton waves are solutions of certain one-dimensional nonlinear
wave equations.  Therefore, in order to see solitons we need to confine
the light beam in some kind of a waveguide, such as an appropriately
designed glass fiber.  A pulse of light can then travel along the fiber
for distances of kilometers with little change of its shape.

A pulse of light carries both energy and momentum.  Ignoring the
nonlinear effects, which are usually small, the energy and the momentum
are proportional to each other.

I have the impression that you want to know if a "photon torpedo" is
possible.  In order to make this work, you need to connect your laser
source to the target with a waveguide.  This is currently being done
in medicine, for some types of surgery.  However, one does not have a
waveguide available when one is trying to shoot down an airplane or a

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