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Honeycomb pattern formation by laser-beam filamentation in atomic sodium vapor

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8 Author(s)
Bennink, R.S. ; Inst. of Opt., Rochester Univ., NY, USA ; Wong, V. ; Marino, A.M. ; Aronstein, D.L.
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This study presents examples of observed optical pattern formation in which a single laser beam propagating through atomic sodium vapor without feedback develops a stable, regular transverse structure. In particular, a three-filament near-field pattern leading to a honeycomb far-field pattern occurs at intensities near the saturation intensity and at powers larger than (but of the order of magnitude of) the critical power for self-focusing. The three-filament pattern has a uniform phase profile and strongly correlated power fluctuations, which suggest that it is perhaps a quantum image. These observations are also found to be in good agreement with numerical simulations of filamentation in a two-level atomic medium.

Published in:

Quantum Electronics Conference, 2003. EQEC '03. European

Date of Conference:

22-27 June 2003