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Institute of Optics

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Honeycomb pattern formation by laser-beam filamentation in atomic sodium vapor

Ryan S. Bennink, Vincent Wong, Alberto M. Marino, David L. Aronstein, Robert W. Boyd,
C. R. Stroud, Jr., Svetlana Lukishova, and Daniel J. Gauthier

Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 113901 (2002).


We have observed transverse pattern formation leading to highly regular structures in both the near and far fields when a near-resonant laser beam propagates without feedback through an atomic sodium vapor. One example is a regular far-field honeycomb pattern, which results from the transformation of the laser beam within the vapor into a stable three-lobed structure with a uniform phase distribution and highly correlated power fluctuations. The predictions of a theoretical model of the filamentation process are in good agreement with these observations.


Click here to download the .pdf version of the paper bennink021.pdf (201 KB)


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Last modified 13 September 2006