Very-long distance propagation of high-energy laser pulse in air

Jingwei Wang, Wei Yu, M. Y. Yu, Sergey Rykovanov, Jingjing Ju, Shixia Luan, Kun Li, Yuxin Leng, Ruxin Li, Zheng-Ming Sheng

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113111
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number11
Early online date19 Nov 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2018


  • dielectric properties
  • lasers
  • Kerr effects
  • photoionization


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