WIAS Preprint No. 1570, (2010)

Modulation instability in filamentary self-compression


  • Brée, Carsten
  • Demircan, Ayhan
  • Steinmeyer, Günter

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 78A60

2008 Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme

  • 42.65.-k 42.65.Jx 42.65.Re 42.65.Sf


  • Nonlinear Optics, Modulation Instability, Femtosecond Filamentation, Pulse compression


We numerically analyze filamentary propagation for various medium- and input pulse parameters and show that temporal self-compression can greatly benefit from refocusing events. Analyzing the dynamical behavior in the second focal spot, it turns out that a dispersive temporal break-up may appear due to the emission of a hyperbolic shock-wave from the self-steepened trailing edge of the pulse. This break-up event enhances the self-compression capabilities of laser filaments, enabling up to 12-fold temporal compression. Only slightly perturbing the input pulse parameters, we further identify a regime in which refocusing events give rise to extended subdiffractive propagation in a weakly ionized channel.

Appeared in

  • Laser Physics, 21 (2011) pp. 1313-1318.

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