Data from optical probing. (a) Data taken before the CPA pulse reached the nominal focus. (b) Data taken after the CPA pulse passed through the nominal focus. Top pictures: interferograms. Bottom pictures: retrieved electron density distributions. The laser pulse is coming from left; the gas is flowing from bottom.
Data from optical probing. Top: interferogram obtained in condition similar to Fig. 1(a) but with a magnifying optics. Bottom: the retrieved electron density distribution. The laser pulse is coming from left; the gas is flowing from bottom; fringes are moved in the opposite direction with respect to Fig. 1 .
Intensity distribution in the far field of the laser obtained from the transmitted light with an /5 imaging optics. Top: after propagation in vacuum. Bottom: after propagation in He. The two plots are not to scale with respect to one another.
Spectra of the transmitted laser light after (solid line) propagation in vacuum and (dotted line) propagation in He. The two spectra are not to scale with respect to one another.
Data from numerical simulation showing the electron density distribution during the propagation (from left) of the CPA pulse preceded by the picosecond pedestal (a) and after leaving the focal region (b). Contrast ratio . The snapshots show the central portion ( around the focus) of the pulse path in the He jet.
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