Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A pulselike wave that can exist in nonlinear systems, does not obey the superposition principle, and does not disperse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a self-reinforcing travelling wave or pulse caused by any non-linear effect; found in many physical systems

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (physics) a quantum of energy or quasiparticle that can be propagated as a traveling wave in nonlinear systems and is neither preceded nor followed by another such disturbance; does not obey the superposition principle and does not dissipate

Etymologies

solit(ary) + -on1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • It is very unusual, and it is called a soliton, or solitary wave.

    woman : planet :: love : monsters

  • In waves and optics parlance, a soliton is a single wave that retains its shape while traveling at a constant speed for significant distances.

    Ars Technica

  • While we have understood and appreciated that there is a rich bounty of physical phenomena contained in the theory, this has mostly been uncovered in perturbation theory, occasionally sweetened by a glimpse into the non – perturbative realm afforded by special sectors of the theory such as soliton solutions (including branes of various sorts) or various topological reductions.

    News From The Front, II

  • These everlasting waves are exotic enough, but theoreticians at the Joint Quantum Institute now believe that there may be a new kind of soliton that's even more special.

    Newswise: Latest News

  • These everlasting waves are exotic enough, but theoreticians at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), a collaboration of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland, and their colleagues in India and the George Mason University, now believe that there may be a new kind of soliton that's even more special.

    Newswise: Latest News

  • a collaboration of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland, and their colleagues in India and the George Mason University, now believe that there may be a new kind of soliton that's even more special.

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • This wave mechanics is a type of soliton associated with the anti-de Sitter configuration of each cosmology, which is dependent on the value of the cosmological constant or “Lambda.”

    Searching for Life in the Multiverse | Universe Today

  • These endpoints define 0-branes, and there are some ideas that the whole of M - theory can be reduced to sigma models or soliton field theories of these point-like particles.

    Science and Unobservable Things

  • Maldecena and Lin conjecture that orbifold solutions in String Theory could decay into these soliton states as tachyons condense.

    Archive 2006-02-12

  • The suffix ˜- on™ is meant to call to mind the similar ending that is common in names of fundamental particles in physics, such as proton, neutron, soliton, etc.

    Tropes

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Comments

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  • "In waves and optics parlance, a soliton is a single wave that retains its shape while traveling at a constant speed for significant distances. This type of wave can only happen in certain media, like water, where movement is unrestricted. For example, as a water wave moves, it tends to break and curl forward. But sometimes its forward motion is sufficient that the wave will continually catch itself and can't break, resulting in a soliton."

    --Peregrine soliton may explain ocean's rogue waves
    by Casey Johnston, arstechnica.com

    July 25, 2011

  • I first came across this word when researching for a paper on optical sensors. I came across a book in the library titled "Optical Solutions" or at least that's how I read it, and I assumed a big book on optical solutions must have a section on sensors! It took several minutes of increasingly confused attempts to find said section before I took a good look at the word "solution" and realized that it actually said "soliton." Sadly, the book did not feature any optical soliton based sensors...

    January 19, 2007