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Title: The extreme nonlinear optics of gases and femtosecond optical filamentation

Under certain conditions, powerful ultrashort laser pulses can form greatly extended, propagating filaments of concentrated high intensity in gases, leaving behind a very long trail of plasma. Such filaments can be much longer than the longitudinal scale over which a laser beam typically diverges by diffraction, with possible applications ranging from laser-guided electrical discharges to high power laser propagation in the atmosphere. Understanding in detail the microscopic processes leading to filamentation requires ultrafast measurements of the strong field nonlinear response of gas phase atoms and molecules, including absolute measurements of nonlinear laser-induced polarization and high field ionization. Such measurements enable the assessment of filamentation models and make possible the design of experiments pursuing applications. In this paper, we review filamentation in gases and some applications, and discuss results from diagnostics developed at Maryland for ultrafast measurements of laser-gas interactions.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22299643
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ATMOSPHERES; ATOMS; DESIGN; DIFFRACTION; ELECTRIC DISCHARGES; IONIZATION; LASERS; MOLECULES; NONLINEAR OPTICS; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; PLASMA; POLARIZATION