Accession Number : ADA188719

Title :   The Effects of Optical Smoothing Techniques on Filamentation in Laser Plasmas.

Descriptive Note : Memorandum rept. Oct 86-Oct 87,

Corporate Author : NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s) : Schmitt, Andrew J

PDF Url : ADA188719

Report Date : 29 Dec 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 61

Abstract : The effect of the induced spatial incoherence (ISI) and the random phase screen (RPS) optical smoothing techniques on the filamentation instability in laser plasmas has been investigated numerically and analytically. A two dimensional time dependent laser plasma propagation code, including both ponderomotive and thermal condition dominated filamentation, is used to simulate the laser plasma interaction. The results of these simulations are compared to the predictions of a simple theory that describes the filamentation of both coherent light and spatially and temporally incoherent light. It is shown that filaments driven by the thermal mechanisms tend to cluster together and produce greater large-scale nonuniformities in the laser illumination than the ponderomotively driven filaments. The RPS optical smoothing technique is found to reduce filamentation only if fast focusing optics (F or = 5) are used. The ISI smoothing method suppresses filamentation for fast or slow focusing optics, and requires only moderate laser bandwidth (delta omega/omega approx, = 0.1%). In general, the ISI smoothing method provides the best suppression of filamentation. Under common laboratory conditions, filamentation is pronounced at longer laser wavelengths (1.06 micrometers - 0.53 micrometers), suggesting that current experiments may be dominated by filamentation effects at these wavelengths. The optical smoothing methods are most effective in short wavelength (0.25 micrometers) laser driven plasmas. At 0.25 micrometers laser wavelength, ISI is found to completely eliminate filamentation effects in both time averaged and instantaneous intensity distribution.

Descriptors :   *PLASMAS(PHYSICS), *LASER PUMPING, COHERENT OPTICAL RADIATION, DISTRIBUTION, FILAMENTS, FOCUSING, ILLUMINATION, INCOHERENCE, INCOHERENT SCATTERING, INTENSITY, INTERACTIONS, LIGHT, OPTICS, SHORT WAVELENGTHS, SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION, THERMAL PROPERTIES, REFRACTIVE INDEX, VARIATIONS, PERTURBATIONS

Subject Categories : Optics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE