The results of experimental and theoretical studies of the evolution of the small-scale transverse structure of high-power femtosecond laser radiation propagating in air in the multiple filamentation mode are presented. It has been found that the presence of intensity inhomogeneities in the initial transverse profile of the laser beam leads to the formation of spatially isolated light channels due to the Kerr self-focusing effect. When the power in these channels exceeds a certain threshold value (the critical power), radiation filamentation occurs in them. The parameters of these light channels are theoretically estimated on the basis of the diffraction-ray model of single filamentation. It is shown that for a laser beam with a centimeter radius and subterawatt power, the initial radius of intensity inhomogeneities in the transverse profile has a characteristic value of several millimeters.
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The work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (V.E. Zuev Institute of Atmospheric Optics, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences).
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Apeximov, D.V., Geints, Y.E., Zemlyanov, A.A. et al. Spatial Structure of Femtosecond Laser Radiation during Filamentation in Air. Atmos Ocean Opt 34, 174–179 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1024856021030039