Memory Effects in the Long-Wave Infrared Avalanche Ionization of Gases

Research paper by Ewan M. Wright, Stephan W. Koch, Miroslav Kolesik, Jerry V. Moloney

Indexed on: 16 Oct '18Published on: 16 Oct '18Published in: arXiv - Physics - Optics


A microscopically motivated approach for the analysis of avalanche ionization in gases is developed that involves the mean electron kinetic energy, the plasma temperature, and the free electron density as dynamic variables. The rate of avalanche ionization is shown to depend on the full time history of the pulsed excitation, as opposed to the standard theory in which the rate is proportional to the instantaneous intensity, the new approach being no more computationally intensive than the standard one. The resulting memory effects and some of their measurable physical consequences are demonstrated for the example of long-wavelength infrared avalanche ionization and long distance high-intensity pulse propagation in air.