Abstract

We investigate experimentally and numerically the properties of single-cycle terahertz pulses propagating through a focus. The experimental data clearly show changes in pulse shape resulting from the Gouy phase shift and apparent superluminal pulse propagation. The pulses are also considerably distorted by diffraction effects. A solution of the time-domain diffraction integral is necessary to explain the details of the data and leads to an excellent agreement between experiment and theory.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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