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Waves spread out as they propagate. A familiar example is the broadening of a beam of light. The challenge of overcoming the ubiquitous spreading of waves has motivated scientists for decades, and packets of light waves that retain their shape, known as solitons, have been demonstrated in one and two dimensions1. However, it has been extremely difficult to create solitons that are stable in three dimensions. Writing in Physical Review X, Lahav et al.2 report an experimental approach that can produce such objects. The work will allow fundamental properties of 3D solitons to be investigated, and could lead to 3D solitons that have technological applications.

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Category: Science