Focal dynamics of multiple filaments: Microscopic imaging and reconstruction

Abstract : We observe the complete dynamics of the propagation of very intense, femtosecond laser pulses in air under tight focusing conditions via direct imaging of the entire interaction zone. The whole life history of the focused pulses is then reconstructed by means of numerical simulations. We show that beam breakup leads to a dual-rate increase in filament numbers with laser power. Linearly and circularly polarized pulses give rise to beam breakup and fusion governed by external focusing conditions. For tight focusing conditions, intensity saturation due to plasma generation and nonlinear losses does not limit the intensity growth, thereby giving access to a new propagation regime featured by an efficient laser energy deposition in fully ionized air and intense 10^15 W/cm^2 pulses at the focus.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 6:03:51 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 9:22:02 AM

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P. Prem Kiran, Suman Bagchi, Siva Rama Krishnan, C. L. Arnold, G. Ravindra Kumar, et al.. Focal dynamics of multiple filaments: Microscopic imaging and reconstruction. Physical Review A, American Physical Society, 2010, 82 (1), pp.013805. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevA.82.013805⟩. ⟨hal-00558072⟩

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