Abstract

We numerically investigate the femtosecond filamentation dynamics in argon by considering the higher-order nonlinearities measured by a recent experiment. Our result indicates that, instead of plasma, these higher-order nonlinearities can provide main defocusing effect as shown by a recent theoretical work. However, when the higher- order nonlinearity is so strong to provide a main defocusing effect, some phenomena inconsistent with previous experiments such as pulse splitting and pulse self-compression can appear. Therefore, we infer that the values of higher-order nonlinear coefficients are overestimated, and the plasma should be the defocusing mechanism at least in the argon filament.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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