Generation of a variable linear array of phase-coherent supercontinuum sources
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We investigate the coherence properties of a linear array of white-light sources produced in bulk media by ultrashort laser pulses. The array is generated out of the spatial interference pattern between two laser pump pulses, so that the number of supercontinuum sources and their separations can be easily manipulated by varying the geometry of the laser beam interaction. We find that all the secondary white-light sources which arise from the generation of filaments in the optical medium are well phase-locked and are thus able to generate stable and high-visibility multiple-beam interference patterns in the far-field. Observations are compared to the results of a simple model which takes into account a clamping of the peak laser intensity inside the filaments and includes intensity-dependent phase shifts among the different sources.
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