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Graduate Student Seminar - 03/02/2012

"Propagation Effects on THz Generation from Ionizing Two-Color Laser Pulses"

by Luke Johnson

Friday, March 2, 2012 -- 12:00 p.m.
Large Conference Room, 1207 Energy Research Facility

Advisor:  Professor Thomas Antonsen

Coherent mixing of an ultrashort laser pulse and its second harmonic in a gas cell produces THz radiation due to the nonlinear dependence of the ionization rate on field strength. As this is a coherent process, propagation effects, including self-phase modulation and dispersion, are important in determining the THz yield and are considered in this work. The laser pulses modeled have wavelengths of 800nm and 400nm, pulses widths of 50fs, and intensities of 1014 W/cm2. The laser pulse propagation is modeled using the split-step Fourier method to solve a first-order differential equation for the forward (+z direction) propagating spectral components. Further, we have used Ammosov-Delone-Krainov (ADK) ionization to describe the ionization of N2. The ionization current evolution is determined by solving a microscopic model where the free electrons are driven by the laser fields. To date, a 1D code with transverse fields and currents has been demonstrated. Future work includes extending the model to include diffraction and refraction.

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