An important group of nonlinear processes in optical fibre involve the mixing of four waves due to the intensity dependence of the refractive index. It is customary to distinguish between nonlinear effects that require external/pumping waves (cross-phase modulation and parametric processes such as four-wave mixing) and those arising from self-action of the propagating optical field (self-phase modulation and modulation instability). Here, we present a new nonlinear self-action effect—self-parametric amplification—which manifests itself as optical spectrum narrowing in normal dispersion fibre, leading to very stable propagation with a distinctive spectral distribution. The narrowing results from inverse four-wave mixing, resembling an effective parametric amplification of the central part of the spectrum by energy transfer from the spectral tails. Self-parametric amplification and the observed stable nonlinear spectral propagation with a random temporal waveform can find applications in optical communications and high-power fibre lasers with nonlinear intracavity dynamics.
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