The onset and recurrence of multiple filamentary structures in the long-distance propagation of high power femtosecond laser pulses in air displays features analogous to strong turbulence events observed in many areas of physics. However, dissipation is not a key player in regularizing the underlying singular dynamical events. The collapse singularity of the two-dimensional (2D) nonlinear Schrödinger equation is identified as the robust nonlinear mode which both initiates and sustains the waveguide. Physical collapse regularization mechanisms include normal group velocity dispersion and plasma generation in the high intensity nonlinear focal regions. Plasma absorption is weak and the dominant process is the transient generation of a highly localized strongly defocusing lens which evacuates the light behind the leading intense light filament. Consequently the nonlinear waveguide formed is highly dynamic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Applied Mathematics