Energy deposition from focused terawatt laser pulses in air undergoing multifilamentation

Abstract : Laser filamentation is responsible for the deposition of a significant part of the laser pulse energy in the propagation medium. We found that using terawatt laser pulses and moderately strong focusing conditions in air, more than 60 % of the pulses energy is transferred to the medium, eventually degrading into heat. This results in a strong hydrody-namic reaction of air with the generation of shock waves and associated underdense channels for each of the generated multiple filaments. In the focal zone, where filaments are close to each other, these discrete channels eventually merge to form a single cylindrical low-density tube over a ∼ 1 µs timescale. We measured the maximum lineic deposited energy to be more than 1 J · m −1 .
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Guillaume Point, Emmanuelle Thouin, André Mysyrowicz, Aurélien Houard. Energy deposition from focused terawatt laser pulses in air undergoing multifilamentation. Optics Express, Optical Society of America, 2016, 24, pp.256836. ⟨10.1364/OE.24.006271⟩. ⟨hal-01317505⟩

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