Directional soliton and breather beams

Amin Chabchoub, Kento Mozumi, Norbert Hoffmann, Alexander V. Babanin, Alessandro Toffoli, James N. Steer, Ton S. van den Bremer, Nail Akhmediev, Miguel Onorato, Takuji Waseda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Solitons and breathers are nonlinear modes that exist in a wide range of physical systems. They are fundamental solutions of a number of nonlinear wave evolution equations, including the unidirectional nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLSE). We report the observation of slanted solitons and breathers propagating at an angle with respect to the direction of propagation of the wave field. As the coherence is diagonal, the scale in the crest direction becomes finite; consequently, beam dynamics form. Spatiotemporal measurements of the water surface elevation are obtained by stereo-reconstructing the positions of the floating markers placed on a regular lattice and recorded with two synchronized high-speed cameras. Experimental results, based on the predictions obtained from the (2D + 1) hyperbolic NLSE equation, are in excellent agreement with the theory. Our study proves the existence of such unique and coherent wave packets and has serious implications for practical applications in optical sciences and physical oceanography. Moreover, unstable wave fields in this geometry may explain the formation of directional large-amplitude rogue waves with a finite crest length within a wide range of nonlinear dispersive media, such as Bose–Einstein condensates, solids, plasma, hydrodynamics, and optics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9759-9763
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Directional localizations
  • Extreme events
  • Nonlinear waves
  • Solitons


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