Lagrange Solution for Three Wavelength Soliton Clusters in Nematic Liquid Crystals

G. Assanto, K. Garcia-Reimbert, A. A. Minzoni, N. F. Smyth, and A. Worthy

Physica D 240, 1213-1219 (2011)


We investigate the interaction of three optical solitary waves propagating with angular momentum in bulk nematic liquid crystals. The resulting cluster of solitary waves, or nematicons, is shown to orbit about its common centre of ‘‘mass’’. An elongated isosceles triangle configuration is derived, this solution being the equivalent of the Lagrange solution of Newtonian gravitation. This triangle solution is found to be stable owing to diffractive radiation. A modulation theory explains the existence of the triangle solution as due to the non-monotonicity of an effective potential for the interaction of the solitary waves. This modulation theory also gives good agreement with numerical solutions for the trajectories of the nematicons in the three colours. Finally, it is shown that a cut-off in the shed diffractive radiation prevents the break-up of the triangle due to radiative losses.