Electromagnetic shocks on the optical cycle of ultrashort pulses in triple-resonance Lorentz dielectric media with subfemtosecond nonlinear electronic Debye relaxation

L. Gilles, J. V. Moloney, L. Vázquez

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30 Scopus citations


The dynamical evolution of an intense ultrashort sub-10-fs two-cycle optical pulse is considered as it propagates through a transparent third-order dielectric medium characterized by three resonance lines and a finite sub-fs relaxation time of the electronic nonlinearity. Numerical integration of the full Maxwell’s equations incorporating triple-resonance Lorentz linear dispersion and Debye nonlinear dispersion, for a linearly polarized electromagnetic pulse centered at [Formula Presented] in the normal dispersion region near the zero dispersion wavelength, shows the formation of shocks occurring on the optical cycle due to the generation of optical harmonics. The finite relaxation time of the nonlinear electronic response (sub-fs time scale) (i) slows down the steepening rate of the optical cycle; (ii) does not limit the generation of strongly phase matched optical harmonics, and consequently the development of infinitely sharp edges on the optical cycle producing its breaking when linear dispersion is not included; (iii) reduces the production of phase matched harmonics and consequently the sharpening of the jumps when dispersion is present, compared to the case of an instantaneous nonlinear response; and (iv) reduces the harmonic spectrum spreading and modulation at later times on the appearance of self-steepening of the electric field envelope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1051-1059
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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