Electric field sensing through second harmonic generation of ultrafast laser pulses
In dynamic processes such as spark discharges, it is impossible to insert field probes to measure rapidly varying and localized electric fields. In this thesis, we investigate the use of second harmonic generation of an ultrafast laser pulse as a probe for an electric field. In an centrosymmetric medium, second harmonic generation is not allowed in the electric dipole approximation. However, breaking the symmetry of air with an applied electric field allows for the second harmonic generation to occur. The second harmonic signal holds information about the applied electric field and can be used ...