We experimentally demonstrate diffraction from a straight edge in a medium with self-focusing nonlinearity. Diffraction into the shadow region is suppressed with increasing nonlinearity, but mode coupling leads to excitations and traveling waves on the high-intensity side. Theoretically, we interpret these modulations as spatially dispersive shock waves with negative pressure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics