Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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International Conference on Superstrong Fields in Plasmas, M. Lontano, G. Mourou, F. Pegoraro, E. Sindoni, eds. AIP Conference Proceedings, No. 426 (AIP Press, New York, 1998) p. 342-347. Copyright 1998. Permission to use.


One aspect of the complexity of mid- and high-harmonic generation in highintensity laser-plasma interactions is that nonlinear hydrodynamics is virtually always folded together with the nonlinear optical conversion process. We have partly dissected this issue in picosecond and subpicosecond interactions with preformed plasma gradients, imaging and spectrally resolving low- and mid-order harmonics. We describe spatial breakup of the picosecond beam in preformed plasmas, concomitant broaden~ng and breakup of the harmonic spectrum. presumably through self-phase modulation, together with data on the sensitivity of harmonics production efficiency to the gradient or extent of prefomed plasma. Lastly. we show preliminary data of regular Stokes-like and anti-Stokes-like satellites to the harmonics, accompanied by modification of the forward-scattered beam.

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