Abstract

Laser-induced thermal acoustics (LITA), an optical four-wave mixing technique, has been used for sensitive measurement of the sound speed, thermal diffusivity, acoustic damping rate, and complex susceptibility of a gas. In LITA, laser-induced acoustic waves scatter laser light into a coherent, modulated signal beam. A simple expression accurately describes the signal. Atmospheric sound speeds accurate to 0.5% and transport properties accurate to 30% have been measured in a single shot without calibration. LITA spectra have been taken of weak spectral lines of NO2 in concentrations of less than 50 parts in 109. Signal reflectivities up to 10−4 are estimated.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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