Extreme Nonlinear Optics with Ultra-Intense Self-Bending Airy Beams

Pavel Polynkin, Miroslav Kolesik, Jerome Moloney, Georgios Siviloglou and Demetrios Christodoulides

Recent research in nonlinear optics with ultra-intense and ultra-short laser pulses has opened the door to applications in remote spectroscopy, communications and atmospheric science. This article reviews studies into the propagation of ultra-intense self-bending Airy beams in transparent dielectric media.


figureTransverse intensity profile of an intense femtosecond Airy laser beam in air.

Over the past decade, physicists have made remarkable progress in developing ultra-high intensity, short-pulse laser systems. For example, multi-terawatt-class tabletop laser systems are now becoming commonplace in research laboratories around the world. These lasers typically operate in the near-infrared spectral range and generate very short optical pulses with repetition rates ranging from several hertz to several kilohertz. Remarkably, the peak power of these pulses equals or exceeds the total power generated by all electric power plants in the world combined.

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