Self-focusing has been an area of active scientific investigation for nearly 50 years. This book presents a comprehensive treatment of this topic and reviews both theoretical and experimental investigations of self-focusing. This book should be of interest to scientists and engineers working with lasers and their applications.
From a practical point of view, self-focusing effects impose a limit on the power that can be transmitted through a material medium. Self-focusing also can reduce the threshold for the occurrence of other nonlinear optical processes. Self-focusing often leads to damage in optical materials and is a limiting factor in the design of high-power laser systems. But it can be harnessed for the design of useful devices such as optical power limiters and switches. At a formal level, the equations for self-focusing are equivalent to those describing Bose-Einstein condensates and certain aspects of plasma physics and hydrodynamics. There is thus a unifying theme between nonlinear optics and these other disciplines.
One of the goals of this book is to connect the extensive early literature on self-focusing, filament-ation, self-trapping, and collapse with more recent studies aimed at issues such as self-focusing of fs pulses, white light generation, and the generation of filaments in air with lengths of more than 10 km. It also describes some modern advances in self-focusing theory including the influence of beam nonparaxiality on self-focusing collapse. This book consists of 24 chapters. Among them are three reprinted key landmark articles published earlier. It also contains the first publication of the 1964 paper that describes the first laboratory observation of self-focusing phenomena with photographic evidence.
About the Author
Robert W. Boyd
Prof. Boyd was born in Buffalo, NY. He received the B.S. degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Ph.D. degree in physics in 1977 from the University of California at Berkeley. His Ph.D. thesis was supervised by Professor Charles H. Townes and involves the use of nonlinear optical techniques in infrared detection for astronomy. Professor Boyd joined the faculty of the Institute of Optics of the University of Rochester in 1977 and since 1987 has held the position of Professor of Optics. Since July 2001 he has also held the position of the M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics, and since July 2002 has also held the position of Professor of Physics. His research interests include studies of "slow" and "fast" light propagation, quantum imaging techniques, nonlinear optical interactions, studies of the nonlinear optical properties of materials, the development of photonic devices including photonic biosensors, and studies of the quantum statistical properties of nonlinear optical interactions. Professor Boyd has written two books, including widely used text "Nonlinear optics", co-edited two anthologies, published over 230 research papers, and been awarded five patents. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America and is a past chair of the Division of Laser Science of the American Physical Society.
Svetlana G. Lukishova
Dr. Lukishova was born in Moscow, Russia. She received her M.S. degree in Physics (with high honors) and Ph.D. degree (1977) from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (FizTech). Her M.S. and Ph.D. research was performed at the P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Her Ph.D. thesis was supervised by P.P. Pashinin and Nobel Prize winner A.M. Prokhorov and involved spatial beam-profile and temporal pulse-shape control in laser-fusion systems. After holding research positions at the I.V. Kurchatov Nuclear Power Institute, Troitsk branch TRINITI (Moscow Region), the Institute of Radioengineering and Electronics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), and the Liquid Crystal Institute (Kent, Ohio), she joined the Institute of Optics, University of Rochester in 1999 where she holds the position of Senior Scientist. She has received a Long-Term Grant from the International Science (G. Soros) Foundation and Grants from the Russian Government and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research for her work on nonlinear optics. Dr. Lukishova’s research interests include both optical material and optical radiation properties. She has more than 30 years experience with the development of high-power laser systems and the interaction of laser radiation with matter. Currently her main research areas are nonlinear optics and photonic quantum information systems. She has near 170 scientific publications and awarded one US patent and 3 USSR Inventor Certificates.
Y. R. Shen received his BS degree from the National Taiwan University in 1956 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1963 under the supervision of Nicolaas Bloembergen. After a year of postdoctoral work at Harvard, he was appointed to the Physics faculty of the University of California at Berkeley where he has been ever since. He has also been associated with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 1966.
Shen’s research interest is in the broad area of interaction of light with matter. He was involved in the early development of nonlinear optics, searching for basic understanding of various nonlinear optical phenomena. He is the author of the widely used text "The Principles of Nonlinear Optics". He contributed to the early accurate determination of band structures of semiconductors by developing a high-resolution wavelength-modulation spectroscopic technique. He initiated the field of nonlinear optics in liquid crystals and applications of nonlinear optics to characterization of liquid crystals. He pioneered the development of optical second harmonic generation and sum-frequency generation as powerful spectroscopic tools for surface and interface studies and their applications to many neglected, but important, areas of surface science. More recently, he has devoted himself to the development of sum-frequency generation as a novel sensitive probe for molecular chirality.
Shen has received numerous prestigious awards including the 1986 Charles H. Townes Award of the OSA, the 1992 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize and the 1998 Frank Isakson Prize of the APS, and the 1996 Max-Planck Research Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Academia Sinica. He is also a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Table of ContentsPart I. Self-focusing in the Past: Review of Self-Focusing and Self-Trapped Filaments of Light.- Self-Focusing: Theory (Comments).- Optical Self-Focusing: Stationary Beams and Femtosecond Pulses.- Self-Focusing and Self-Trapping of Optical Beams.- Self-Focusing and Self-Channeling of Laser Radiation: History and Perspectives.- Multi-Focus Structure and Moving Nonlinear Foci – Adequate Model of Self-Focusing of Laser Beams.- Small-Scale Self-focusing.- Wave Collapse in Nonlinear Optics.- Super-Gaussian Beams for Suppression of Diffraction and Self-Focusing in High-Power Nd:Glass Laser Amplifiers.- Self-Action Effects, Pattern Formation and Nonlinear Dynamics in Atomic Vapors.- Diffraction and Interference in Supercontinuum Generation.- Reprints of Several Important Papers from the Past.- Part II. Self-focusing in the Present: Self-Trapping of Optical Beams: Spatial Solitons.- Self-Focusing of Femtosecond Pulses in Air and Condensed Matter: Simulations and Experiments.- Self-Organized Propagation of Femtosecond Laser Filamentation in Air.- The Physics of Intense Femtosecond Laser Filamentation.- Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Self-focusing.- Some Comments on the History of Self-focusing Theory.- Nonlinear X Waves: Theory and Experiment.- On the Role of Conical Waves in Self-Focusing and Filamentation of fs Pulses.- Self-Focusing and Self-Defocusing of Femtosecond Pulses with Cascaded Quadratic Nonlinearities.- Effective Parameters of High-Power Laser Femtosecond Radiation at Self- focusing in Gas and Aerosol Media.- Diffraction-Induced High-Order Modes of the (2+1)-D Nonparaxial Nonlinear Schrödinger Equation.- Self-Focusing in Photorefractive Crystals.- Measurement of Nonlinear Susceptibilities Using Self-Action Effects (Including Z-scan).