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Visualizing spatiotemporal pulse propagation: first-order spatiotemporal couplings in laser pulses

Abstract

Even though a general theory of first-order spatiotemporal couplings exists in the literature, it is often difficult to visualize how these distortions affect laser pulses. In particular, it is difficult to show the spatiotemporal phase of pulses in a meaningful way. Here, we propose a general solution to plotting the electric fields of pulses in three-dimensional space that intuitively shows the effects of spatiotemporal phases. The temporal phase information is color-coded using spectrograms and color response functions, and the beam is propagated to show the spatial phase evolution. Using this plotting technique, we generate two- and three-dimensional images and movies that show the effects of spatiotemporal couplings.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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Supplementary Material (5)

NameDescription
Visualization 1: MP4 (138 KB)      3D representation of a pulse with cubic spectral phase and angular dispersion propagating.
Visualization 2: MP4 (58 KB)      Side view of the propagation of a pulse with spatial chirp.
Visualization 3: MP4 (57 KB)      Side view of the propagation of a pulse with pulse-front tilt.
Visualization 4: MP4 (64 KB)      Side view of the propagation of a focusing pulse with angular dispersion.
Visualization 5: MP4 (60 KB)      Side view of the propagation of a focusing pulse with time vs angle.

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Figures (12)

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Equations (39)

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