Phys Rev Lett 2004 Jan 29;92(4):043904. Epub 2004 Jan 29.
Physics Department, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan.
We observe stable propagation of spatially localized single- and double-charge optical vortices in a self-focusing nonlinear medium. The vortices are created by self-trapping of partially incoherent light carrying a phase dislocation, and they are stabilized when the spatial incoherence of light exceeds a certain threshold. We confirm the vortex stabilization effect by numerical simulations and also show that the similar mechanism of stabilization applies to higher-order vortices.