Atmospheric Photo Ionization of Argon with a Short Pulse Laser
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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One of the goals of the NRL laser-atmospheric propagation program is to produce a plasma spot, at a controlled range with a combination of longitudinal compression of a laser pulse over long distance, followed by transverse self focusing over short distance. The ease by which one can accomplish this depends, at least in part, on the ionization mechanism. This report suggests that photo ionization of the argon component, via a four photon resonant excitation, followed by ionization of the highly excited state could be easier to accomplish than ionization of the oxygen by a direct four photon process, a seemingly more obvious choice. The reason is that the former is a resonant process, while the latter is not. While detailed calculations are not performed, initial crude calculations indicate that the rate via the argon channel could exceed the rate via the oxygen channel by several orders of magnitude.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Lasers and Masers