We introduce novel classes of higher-order spatial optical solitons in analogy with Laguerre-Gaussian and Hermite-Gaussian linear eigenmodes. We reveal that stable higher-order optical solitons can exist in nonlocal nonlinear media in the various forms of soliton necklaces and soliton matrices. Modulational instability can lead to nontrivial transformations between energetically close solitons with different symmetries through the intermediate states resembling generalized Hermite-Laguerre-Gaussian modes.
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The corresponding record at NLM can be accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17358858