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Femtosecond laser pulses filamenting in various gases are shown to generate long- lived quasi-stationary cylindrical depressions or 'holes' in the gas density. For our experimental conditions, these holes range up to several hundred microns in diameter with gas density depressions up to ~20%. The holes decay by thermal diffusion on millisecond timescales. We show that high repetition rate filamentation and supercontinuum generation can be strongly affected by these holes, which should also affect all other experiments employing intense high repetition rate laser pulses interacting with gases.


Y-H Cheng, J K Wahlstrand, N Jhajj, H M Milchberg. The effect of long timescale gas dynamics on femtosecond filamentation. Optics express. 2013 Feb 25;21(4):4740-51

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PMID: 23482007

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