Ultrashort laser pulse measurements
Aktürk, Selcuk Department of Physics, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Gu, Xun ABB, Switzerland Corporate Research Center.
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Observing the evolution of an event in time requires a device that is faster than the event. To examine how a balloon pops, for example, we can take a sequence of images with a strobe light whose flashes are shorter than the duration of the popping. And if we then want to know how short the strobe-light flash is, we must use a photodiode that is even faster to measure it. But how do we then measure the response of a photodiode? Clearly, this problem goes on and on to shorter and shorter times. When we reach the time scale of a millionth of a billionth of a second (or a femtosecond, 1 fs = 10−15s), we reach the frontier, the shortest technological events ever generated: ultrashort laser pulses, which last for only a few femtoseconds. How do we measure them when there is no shorter event available?
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