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Air has about 0.04% carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide has a very strong absorption band around 4.2µm. Let's say I used a nanosecond pulsed 4.2µm MIR source and targeted it into air, part of this would be absorbed by carbon dioxide molecules raising their temperature instantly. Could this lead to generation of low intensity shock waves?

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    $\begingroup$ Why not? Using fairly low powered short pulsed YAG (various harmonics) can easily lead to a pretty satisfying 'snap' sound in air from a focus. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Oct 2 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster When you say fairly low powered, is it in the mJ regime? $\endgroup$ – user1155386 Oct 3 at 1:36
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    $\begingroup$ Yes indeed. Picosecond pulses focused tightly make a nice sound, and can also make a nice quick plasma flash. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Oct 3 at 14:08

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