The full description of the evolution of light during its nonlinear propagation represents a valuable help to the complete understanding of important nonlinear phenomena such as light filamentation. In this paper we present a comparison between theoretical and experimental results of the spatiotemporal structure of a light filament at different propagation distances. In order to obtain the experimental spatiotemporal structure, we have used a technique based on spatially resolved spectral interferometry called STARFISH, for spatiotemporal amplitude-and-phase reconstruction by Fourier transform of interference spectra of high-complex beams. We have been able to observe important nonlinear pulse dynamics during the nonlinear propagation, including pulse splitting and the subsequent competition among the pulses that result from the splitting, obtaining a full insight into the general nonlinear behavior.
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Jianjun Yang and Guoguang Mu
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