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Femtosecond growth dynamics of an underdense ionization front measured by spectral blueshifting

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3 Author(s)
Wood, W.M. ; Dept. of Phys., Texas Univ., Austin, TX, USA ; Siders, C.W. ; Downer, M.C.

Time-resolved spectral blue shifts of 100-fs laser pulses caused by ionization of atmospheric density N2 and noble gases subjected to high (1014 W/cm2 to 1016 W/cm2) light intensities are examined. Included are data for two experiments: self-shifting of the ionizing laser pulses for varying peak intensities, pressures (1-5 atm), and gas species; and time-resolved blue shifts of a weak copropagating probe pulse for the same range of ionization conditions. The self-shift data reveal a universal, reproducible pattern in the shape of the blueshifted spectra: as laser intensity, gas pressure, or atomic number increase, the self-blueshifted spectra develop from a near replica of the incident pulse spectrum into a complex structure consisting of two spectral peaks. The time-resolved data reveal different temporal dependence for each of these two features. A quantitative model for a simplified cylindrical focal geometry is presented

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 1 )