Abstract

Electromagnetic wave propagation with one transverse dimension is investigated in a medium whose response is modeled by a nonlinear oscillator. We report results with transverse effects due to diffraction, which are controlled by varying the Fresnel number. We find that diffraction does not significantly reduce the bistable intensity characteristics either for the center of the beam intensity or in the intensity integrated across the transverse coordinate, although in the latter case the contrast is reduced; bistable behavior is found to persist even for a Fresnel number of order unity, and the switching intensity is not affected by the Fresnel number. These results are explained by simple physical arguments.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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