Schedule Aug 14, 2006
Relativistic Effects in the Lambda-Cubed Regime
Dr. John Nees, University of Michigan & KITP

It has been recognized that plasma represents a medium that, having already been ionized, is governed by nonlinearities of higher strength than those associated with electrons bound to a nucleus. The relativistic nonlinearity transcends octave spanning frequency modulation and can produce compression of the time-span associated with a fraction of an optical cycle. Simulations indicate that this form of compression, which we label phase compression, is capable of efficiently producing pulses of attosecond duration. Measurements of the spatial modulation of the fundamental radiation are consistent with simulations for non-normal incidence and for plasma having a scale length near one wavelength. One may rightly be concerned with questions of whether the ionization processes may yet play a role in partially ionized plasma.

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