A relatively new far-infrared light source is provided by femtosecond terahertz (fs THz) pulses. These pulses are generated by the excitation of charge carriers in a semiconductor material with ultrashort pulses of above bandgap light1 There are several important difference between this type of pulse and conventional pulsed laser sources, however. One is that these pulses are approximately 1/2 optical cycle long. Another difference is that the electric field itself, rather than the intensity, is measured.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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