, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 67-76

Filamentation of femtosecond laser pulses in turbulent air

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Formation and wandering of filaments in air are studied both experimentally and numerically. Filament-center deflections are collected from 1100 shots of 190-fs and 800-nm pulses in the plane perpendicular to the propagation direction. To calculate the filament wandering in air we have developed a model of powerful femtosecond laser pulse filamentation in the Kolmogorov atmospheric turbulence and employed the Monte Carlo method to model the propagation of several hundred laser pulses. Statistical processing of experimental and numerical data shows that filament-center displacements in the transverse plane obey the Rayleigh-distribution law. Parameters of the Rayleigh distribution obtained for numerical and experimental data are close to each other.

Received: 23 May 2001 / Revised version: 26 September 2001 / Published online: 29 November 2001