We study a generic model governing optical beam propagation in media featuring a nonlocal nonlinear response, namely a two-dimensional defocusing nonlocal nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) model. Using a framework of multiscale expansions, the NLS model is reduced first to a bidirectional model, namely a Boussinesq or a Benney-Luke-type equation, and then to the unidirectional Kadomtsev-Petviashvili (KP) equation – both in Cartesian and cylindrical geometry. All the above models arise in the description of shallow water waves, and their solutions are used for the construction of relevant soliton solutions of the nonlocal NLS. Thus, the connection between water wave and nonlinear optics models suggests that patterns of water may indeed exist in light. We show that the NLS model supports intricate patterns that emerge from interactions between soliton stripes, as well as lump and ring solitons, similarly to the situation occurring in shallow water.
Part of the book: Nonlinear Optics