The discovery in 1973 that an optical soliton [1] on a single wavelength beam can exist in fiber is one of the most significant events since the perfection of low-loss optical fiber communication. This means that, in principle, data pulses may be transmitted in a fiber without degradation forever. This soliton discovery sets the ultimate goal for optical fiber communication on a single wavelength beam.

Another significant event is the development of wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) transmission in a single mode fiber [2]. This means that multiple beams of different wavelengths, each carrying its own data load, can propagate simultaneously in a single mode fiber. This WDM technique provides dramatic increase in the bandwidth of a fiber. However, because of the presence of complex nonlinear interaction between co-propagating pulses on different wavelength beams, it is no longer certain that WDM solitons can exist.

The existence of solitons is a blissful event in nature. It is a marvel that the delicate balance between the dispersion effect and the nonlinear effect can allow a specially shaped optical pulse to propagate in the fiber without degradation. This is called a temporal soliton [1]. It is an equal marvel that the delicate balance between the diffraction effect and the nonlinear effect can also allow a specially shaped pulse to propagate in a planar waveguide or array waveguides without degradation. This is called a spatial soliton [3]. They occur only on a single wavelength beam.


Wavelength Division Multi Pulse Compression Group Velocity Dispersion Dark Soliton Dielectric Waveguide 
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