Dipole azimuthons and vortex charge flipping in nematic liquid crystals
We demonstrate self-trapped laser beams carrying phase singularities in nematic liquid crystals. We experimentally observe the astigmatic transformation of vortex beams into spiraling dipole azimuthons accompanied by power-dependent charge-flipping of the on-axis phase singularity. The latter topological reactions involve triplets of vortex lines and resemble pitchfork bifurcations.
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