WIAS Preprint No. 1377, (2008)

Self-pinching of pulsed laser beams in a plasma filament


  • Brée, Carsten
  • Demircan, Ayhan
  • Skupin, Stefan
  • Bergé, Luc
  • Steinmeyer, Günter

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 78A60 81V80 35Q55 37K40

2008 Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme

  • 42.65.Tg 42.65.-k 52.38.Hb 42.68.Ay


  • Nonlinear Schrödinger Equations, Optical self-focusing, Ultrashort pulse propagation




Competing nonlinear optical effects that act on femtosecond laser pulses propagating in a self-generated plasma filament may give rise to a pronounced radial deformation of the beam, similar to the z-pinch contraction of pulsed high-current discharges. This self-pinching locally increases the photon density. The process is further identified as the first stage in the recently observed self-compression of femtosecond laser pulses propagating in filaments. Self-pinching also explains the complicated spatio-temporal shapes generally observed in filament compression experiments.

Appeared in

  • Optics Express, 17 (2009) pp. 16429-16435.

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