We predict that long wavelength self-trapped multi-terawatt pulses can be sustained over multiple kilometers in the atmosphere. Unlike filaments, these pulses exhibit low loss propagation and retain most of their launch power at range. A novel mechanism involving an aggregation of weakly linear and nonlinear cumulative optical responses is shown to be responsible and is dominated by an ultrafast dynamical lensing resulting from a field intensity driven many-body Coulomb mediated free electron polarization associated with spatially separated species in the gas. An initial few picosecond pulse can compress down to 140 fs over multiple kilometers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics