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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 11, Iss. 3 — Feb. 10, 2003
  • pp: 248–258

Dynamics of space-time self-focusing of a femtosecond relativistic laser pulse in an underdense plasma

Maurizio Lontano and Ivane G. Murusidze  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 11, Issue 3, pp. 248-258 (2003)

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The propagation of femtosecond, multiterawatt, relativistic laser pulses in a transparent plasma is studied. The spatio-temporal dynamics of ultrashort, high-power laser pulses in underdense plasmas differs dramatically from that of long laser beams. We present the results of numerical studies of these dynamics within a model which systematically incorporates finite pulse length effects (i.e., dispersion) along with diffraction and nonlinear refraction in a strongly nonlinear, relativistic regime. New space-time patterns of self-compression, self-focusing and self-phase-modulation, typical of ultrashort, high-intensity laser pulses, are analyzed. The parameters of our numerical simulations correspond to a new class of high-peak-power (> 100 TW), ultrashort-pulsed laser systems, producing pulses with a duration in the 10 – 20 femtosecond range. Spatio-temporal dynamics of these self-effects and underlying physical mechanisms are discussed.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(190.5530) Nonlinear optics : Pulse propagation and temporal solitons
(190.5940) Nonlinear optics : Self-action effects
(260.5950) Physical optics : Self-focusing
(350.0350) Other areas of optics : Other areas of optics

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: December 23, 2002
Revised Manuscript: February 3, 2003
Published: February 10, 2003

Maurizio Lontano and Ivane Murusidze, "Dynamics of space-time self-focusing of a femtosecond relativistic laser pulse in an underdense plasma," Opt. Express 11, 248-258 (2003)

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