Masud Mansuripur and Ewan M. Wright
Self-focusing and self-trapping in
nonlinear optical media were
discovered soon after the invention of the laser in the early 1960s. These phenomena explain the appearance
of hot spots and associated
optical damage in media irradiated
by high power laser pulses. The
high intensities achievable with the laser made it possible to observe these and other nonlinear effects that depend upon the change of the refractive index of the medium in response to the local electric field
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