Abstract

Interaction dynamics of two copropagating femtosecond light filaments in sapphire crystal is studied by means of time-resolved off-axis digital holographic and shadowgraphic microscopy with 22 fs temporal and 1 μm spatial resolution. In particular, we demonstrate that filament interaction originates from instantaneous modification of the refractive index resulting from the Kerr effect. Fusion, splitting, and even suppression of the resulting plasma channels induced by interacting filaments was observed by varying time delay between the input pulses. Free electron channels were reconstructed in the form of the time-lapse movie with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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