Femtosecond Pump-Probe Diagnostics Of Preformed Plasma Channels
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We report on recent ultrafast pump-probe experiments 28 in He plasma waveguides using 800 nm, 80 fs pump pulses of 0.2 x 1018 W/cm2 peak guided intensity, and single orthogonally-polarized 800 nm probe pulses with similar to0.1% of pump intensity. The main results are: (1) We observe frequency-domain interference between the probe and a weak, depolarized component of the pump that differs substantially in mode shape from the injected pump pulse; (2) we observe spectral blue-shifts in the transmitted probe that are not evident in the transmitted pump. The evidence indicates that pump depolarization and probe blue-shifts both originate near the channel entrance.