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Ultrahigh Speed Photography of Picosecond Light Pulses and Echoes

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Abstract

Three new results have been obtained with a recently developed camera of 10-psec framing time: (1) The effect of the finite speed of light in photographing relativistic objects is experimentally demonstrated, by photographing a dumbbell-like entity formed by two packets of light. In contrast to material objects, which, theory predicts, should appear rotated, the light dumbbell appears sheared. (2) Photographs of the mode-locked Nd: glass laser radiation show numerous subsidiary pulses accompanying the main ultrashort pulses in the train. The latter have durations ranging from 7 psec to 15 psec. (3) The technique of gated picture ranging, previously used with nanosecond pulses, is extended to the picosecond range where a resolution of 1 cm is demonstrated. Some potentially useful applications are proposed.

© 1971 Optical Society of America

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