On the Role of Conical Waves in Self-focusing and Filamentation of Femtosecond Pulses with Nonlinear Losses

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This chapter concerns with the experimental observations and theoretical investigations on the propagation of intense femtosecond pulses in water and fused silica. It emphasizes spontaneous transformation of a beam into a conical (Bessel-like) wave during the filamentary propagation in media with nonlinear losses. This transformation constitutes an interpretation of the energy reservoir surrounding the high intensity central core of the filament. The adopted model is shown as being able to explain related phenomena such as the formation of multiple filaments and that of X-waves, observed experimentally in both water and fused silica.