Long distance propagation of an energetic laser pulse with intensity slightly below that for multi-photon ionization in air is considered analytically, by noting that in the process, it is mainly the peak region of the pulse that interacts with the air molecules. Similar to that of much shorter femtosecond laser pulses of similar intensity, the affected air becomes slightly ionized and self-consistently forms a co-propagating thin and low-density plasma filament along the axis. It is found that a hundred-Joule-level laser pulse with a relatively large spot radius and pulse duration can propagate (also in the form of a self-consistent filament) tens of kilometers through the atmosphere. Such laser propagation properties should have applications in many areas.
- dielectric properties
- Kerr effects