Letter abstract

Nature Photonics 4, 451 - 456 (2010)
Published online: 2 May 2010 | doi:10.1038/nphoton.2010.115

Laser-induced water condensation in air

Philipp Rohwetter1, Jérôme Kasparian2, Kamil Stelmaszczyk1, Zuoqiang Hao3, Stefano Henin2, Noëlle Lascoux3, Walter M. Nakaema1, Yannick Petit2, Manuel Queißer1, Rami Salamé3, Estelle Salmon3, Ludger Wöste1 & Jean-Pierre Wolf2

Triggering rain on demand is an old dream of mankind, with a huge potential socio-economical benefit. To date, efforts have mainly focused on cloud-seeding using silver salt particles. We demonstrate that self-guided ionized filaments generated by ultrashort laser pulses are also able to induce water-cloud condensation in the free, sub-saturated atmosphere. Potential contributing mechanisms include photo-oxidative chemistry and electrostatic effects. As well as revealing the potential for influencing or triggering water precipitation, laser-induced water condensation provides a new tool for the remote sensing of nucleation processes in clouds.

  1. Teramobile, Institut für Experimentalphysik, Freie Universität Berlin, Arnimallee 14, D-14195 Berlin, Germany
  2. Teramobile, GAP, Université de Genève, 20 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, CH-1211 Genève 4, Switzerland
  3. Teramobile, Université Lyon 1; CNRS; LASIM UMR 5579, bâtiment A. Kastler, 43 Boulevard du 11 novembre 1918, F-69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France

Correspondence to: Jérôme Kasparian2 e-mail: jerome.kasparian@unige.ch


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