It seems to be self-evident that stable optical pulses cannot be considerably shorter than a single oscillation of the carrier field. From the mathematical point of view the solitary solutions of pulse propagation equations should loose stability or demonstrate some kind of singular behavior. Typically, an unphysical cusp develops at the soliton top, preventing the soliton from being too short. Consequently, the power spectrum of the limiting solution has a special behavior: the standard exponential decay is replaced by an algebraic one. We derive the shortest soliton and explicitly calculate its spectrum for the so-called short pulse equation. The latter applies to ultra-short solitons in transparent materials like fused silica that are relevant for optical fibers.
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