Pump-probe imaging of nanosecond laser-induced bubbles in agar gel.
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In this paper we show results of Nd:YAG laser-induced bubbles formed in a one millimeter thick agar gel slab. The nine nanosecond duration pulse with a wave length of 532 nm was tightly focused inside the bulk of the gel sample. We present for the first time a pump-probe laser-flash shadowgraphy system that uses two electronically delayed Nd:YAG lasers to image the the bubble formation and shock wave fronts with nanosecond temporal resolution and up to nine seconds of temporal range. The shock waves generated by the laser are shown to begin at an earlier times within the laser pulse as the pulse energy increases. The shock wave velocity is used to infer a shocked to unshocked material pressure difference of up to 500 MPa. The bubble created settles to a quasi-stable size that has a linear relation to the maximum bubble size. The energy stored in the bubble is shown to increase nonlinearly with applied laser energy, and corresponds in form to the energy transmission in the agar gel. We show that the interaction is highly nonlinear, and most likely is plasma-mediated.