Soviet Chemical Laser Research

Pulsed Lasers

by Yuri Ksander

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Reviews Soviet work on pulsed chemical lasers published in the open literature in 1963-1970. Whereas U.S. research combines the approaches of physics, quantum electrodynamics, and aerodynamics, Soviet laser research is heavily--and expertly--oriented to understanding the chemical reactions. They prefer pulsed to cw systems, remain staunch protagonists of chain branching lasers, and experiment with fewer gas mixtures. Tal'roze's Chemical Physics Institute group, which built the first workable Soviet HF laser system in 1969, concentrates on kinetics of vibrationally excited diatomic systems, as does Dolgov-Savel'yev's Nuclear Physics Institute group. Basov, at the Lebedev Institute, also committed to HF systems, has studied gas lasers with discharge, photolytic, and other initiation. Khokhlov at Moscow State University is refining research on HN3+CO2 mixtures and studying means of controlling reaction rates by resonant coupling and selective heating. Pekar in the Ukraine proposed a laser based on photorecombination of atoms.

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