A paraxial model for optical self-focussing in a nematic liquid crystal

David W. McLaughlin, David J. Muraki, Michael J. Shelley, Wang Xiao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerical and asymptotic results are presented for a coupled PDE system that models recent experiments of the self-focussing of laser light in a nematic liquid crystal. This study complements previous asymptotic analyses which, in a narrow-beam limit, describe two essential features observed in nematic self-focussing - the undulation and filamentation of a laser beam. These numerical computations represent a direct emulation of the experimental configuration within the context of a paraxial PDE model. In addition to providing numerical corroboration to these earlier asymptotic analyses, these results suggest that initial focussing caustics play a critical rôle in the formation of beam filament pairs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-81
Number of pages27
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


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