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Opt Lett. 2010 Aug 1;35(15):2550-2. doi: 10.1364/OL.35.002550.

Femtosecond filamentation in air and higher-order nonlinearities.

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  • 1College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA. kolesik@acms.arizona.edu


According to a recent experiment, the instantaneous electronic Kerr effect in air exhibits a strong intensity dependence, the nonlinear refractive index switching sign and crossing over from a self-focusing to a defocusing nonlinearity. A subsequent theoretical work has demonstrated that this has paradigm-changing consequences for the understanding of filamentation in air, so it is important to subject the idea of higher-order nonlinearities to stringent tests. Here we use numerical modeling to propose an experiment capable of discriminating between the standard and the new intensity-dependent Kerr-effect models.

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