Abstract

Atmospheric absorption of 10.6-μ radiation can either heat or cool the air, depending upon atmospheric conditions. Absorption by CO2 is essentially from the (100) to the (001) states. The depleted (100) state is rapidly replenished by energy transfer from translation, cooling the atmosphere. The (001) state slowly transfers energy through the N2 back to translation, eventually heating the atmosphere. Cooling increases the density and index of refraction, and the resulting gradient tends to focus a gaussian beam. This partially offsets the usual heating effects and associated ray divergence.

© 1971 Optical Society of America

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