Soviet Chemical Laser Research

by Yuri Ksander

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Reviews recent Soviet open literature on chemical lasers, published mainly in January-October 1971. Two research teams have been added to the five discussed in R-921: a second Lebedev Institute group, nominally under Prokhorov, and Letokhov's group at the Institute of Spectroscopy. A lack of papers from Khokhlov's Moscow State University group suggests that they may be doing classified work. For specialists familiar with U.S. chemical laser research, this report describes Soviet work on kinetics of chemical reactions, photodissociation lasers, photorecombination lasers, beam pumped lasers, and controlled chemical reactions. The principal laser researchers continue to ignore the practical problems of optics and of beam propagation in the atmosphere, while the many studies of atmospheric propagation nowhere mention chemical lasers. Although steady progress is evident, work remains heavily theoretical, with no evidence of the keenly competitive pace found in the United States.

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