Symmetry-breaking instabilities in perturbed optical lattices: Nonlinear nonreciprocity and macroscopic self-trapping

Andrea Fratalocchi*, Gaetano Assanto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We develop an asymptotic analysis of nonlinear energy propagation in lattices subject to slowly varying perturbations, investigating symmetry breaking and its effects. We derive a general set of evolution equations and study them by using catastrophe theory, revealing a wealth of system dynamics. Below a power threshold, symmetry breaking drives nonreciprocal oscillations; beyond that, symmetry breaking yields an effect of "macroscopic" self-trapping, which supports a self-maintained energy imbalance between Bloch bands. We numerically verify the theoretical results and discuss their possible implementation in waveguide arrays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063828
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 27 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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