Abstract

An intense laser pulse that is nearly resonant with an atomic transition and that can initially be described as smooth and nearly adiabatic can acquire significant temporal and spatial modulation as the result of propagation through an atomic vapor. Computer calculations demonstrate that the temporal modulation is a result of enhancement, under propagation, of the initially small nonadiabatic portion of the transient nonlinear atomic response. The transient nonlinear atomic response varies with the field strength so that the transverse variation in field strength results in a spatial modulation, known as conical emission.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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