Optical diametric drive acceleration through action–reaction symmetry breaking

Newton’s third law of motion is one of the pillars of classical physics. This fundamental principle states that the forces two bodies exert on each other are equal and opposite. Had the resulting accelerations been oriented in the same direction, this would have instead led to a counterintuitive phenomenon, that of diametric drive.

Here we report the first experimental observation of such diametric drive acceleration for pulses propagating in a nonlinear optical mesh lattice8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. The demonstrated reversal of action–reaction symmetry could enable altogether new possibilities for frequency conversion and pulse-steering applications. Read more at Nature Physics homepage or at Friedrich-Alexander Universität

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