Laser energy deposition in quiescent air has been studied experimentally and numerically. The study is focused on the gasdynamic effects of the laser energy spot on the flow structure and therefore the laser induced breakdown of air is not considered. A Gaussian profile for initial temperature distribution is proposed to model the energy spot assuming the density is initially uniform. A filtered Rayleigh scattering (FRS) technique has been used for obtaining the experimental results. These consisted of flow visualization of the blast wave, simultaneous pressure, temperature and velocity measurements, and temperature measurements after the shock has propagated away from the deposition region. Good agreement has been achieved between numerical and experimental results for shock radius vs time. The comparison of computed and experimental density, pressure, temperature and velocity outside the laser spot show good agreement as well.