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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Long range robust multi-terawatt MWIR and LWIR atmospheric light bullets

Paper Abstract

There is a strong push worldwide to develop multi-Joule femtosecond duration laser pulses at wavelengths around 3.5-4 and 9-11μm within important atmospheric transmission windows. We have shown that pulses with a 4 μm central wavelength are capable of delivering multi-TW powers at km range. This is in stark contrast to pulses at near-IR wavelengths which break up into hundreds of filaments with each carrying around 5 GW of power per filament over meter distances. We will show that nonlinear envelope propagators fail to capture the true physics. Instead a new optical carrier shock singularity emerges that can act to limit peak intensities below the ionization threshold leading to low loss long range propagation. At LWIR wavelengths many-body correlations of weakly-ionized electrons further suppress the Kerr focusing nonlinearity around 10μm and enable whole beam self-trapping without filaments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 May 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10193, Ultrafast Bandgap Photonics II, 101930K (8 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2262142
Show Author Affiliations
Jerome V. Moloney, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Kolja Schuh, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Paris Panagiotopoulos, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
M. Kolesik, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
S. W. Koch, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Philipps-Univ. Marburg (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10193:
Ultrafast Bandgap Photonics II
Michael K. Rafailov, Editor(s)

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