Abstract

The spatiotemporal dynamics of high-intensity femtosecond laser pulses propagating in argon have been investigated experimentally and the results compared with numerical calculations. After the beam expands and refocuses, the pulse splits in two. While the subcomponent expands immediately, the main component propagates as a filament. The pulse duration of the main component is less than half the initial pulse duration and the spectrum is broadened by a factor of two.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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