Vol. 3, issue 01, article # 18

Aristov A.G., Margolin L.Ya., Pilskii V.I., Polonskii L.Ya., Pyatnitskii L.N. Initial stage of spark generation and development in a "diffraction-free" laser beam. // Atmospheric and oceanic optics. 1990. V. 3. No. 01. P. 95-100.
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The channel structure of a continuous long laser park, generated along the axis of the atmospheric propagation path of a "diffraction-free" (Besselian) laser beam, formed by an axicone, is studied. Nanosecond imaging of its initial formation stage demonstrated this channel to consist of a regular sequence of plasma breakdown zones, which then diffuse into a funnel shape. An explanation for such a kind of structure is suggested: it is seen as self-modulation effect in a diffraction- free beam propagating through a non-linear medium.