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Optica Publishing Group
  • CLEO/Europe and EQEC 2009 Conference Digest
  • (Optica Publishing Group, 2009),
  • paper PL1_1

Femtosecond Optics: More Than Just Really Fast

Open Access Open Access


The first sub-picosecond pulses, generated 35 years ago, created many new opportunities for investigations of ultrafast phenomena in chemistry, biology, physics and engineering. Today, optical pulses of just a few femtoseconds in duration, on the order of one wavelength of light, are being created. Surprisingly, many of the potentially most important applications that have emerged do not themselves rely on the ultrafast time resolution that these pulses make possible but derive instead from the new capability for direct optical field waveform control and from related characteristics such as ultra-wide bandwidths, low temporal coherence, high peak powers, and precise timing. Some of this technology is moving out of the laboratory. At the same time, new science is still being enabled. In this talk, I will review briefly the femtosecond laser state-of-the-art and will illustrate how it enables such a wide range of uses.

© 2009 IEEE

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