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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Laser induced perturbation in a plasma Baldis, Hector Alberto

Abstract

The interaction between a 20 MW Q-switched ruby laser pulse and a partially ionized argon plasma has been studied experimentally. When the focused laser pulse is fired into the plasma', a transient emission from the plasma may be observed both in the continuum and line emission. From measurements of the absolute intensities of this transient radiation, estimates have been made of the population density of the excited atoms and of the electron densities. The Stark broadening of the Ar II lines has also been measured to obtain the electron density in the transient plasma and data obtained in this way are consistent with those obtained from the continuum radiation. During the time when the laser light is incident on the plasma the Ar II lines show a strong asymmetry which disappears quickly after the laser pulse has terminated. This asymmetry can be explained in terms of the electron density gradient present in the expanding perturbed plasma.

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