Interaction-induced nonlinear refractive-index reduction of gases in the midinfrared regime

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The nonlinear optical response of a dilute atomic gas to ultrashort high-intensity midinfrared pulse excitation is calculated fully microscopically. The optically induced polarization dynamics is evaluated for the interacting many-electron system in a gas of hydrogen atoms. It is shown that the many-body effects during the excitation distinctly influence not only the atomic ionization dynamics, but also the nonlinear polarization response in the midinfrared regime. The delicate balance between the Kerr focusing and the ionization-induced defocusing is dramatically modified and a significant decrease of the nonlinear refractive index is predicted for increasing wavelength of the exciting pulse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013208
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 21 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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