Researchers generate new approach to working with laser light

Aug. 17, 2001
A team of researchers in Boulder, Colo., has successfully combined extremely short pulses of light generated by two independent lasers into a single pulse of light. The researchers were able to synchronize two independent femtosecond lasers and phase-lock the respective electric fields underneath the pulse envelopes to generate a single pulse of light that exhibits the properties of both lasers simultaneously.

The researchers were able to synchronize two independent femtosecond lasers and phase-lock the respective electric fields underneath the pulse envelopes to generate a single pulse of light that exhibits the properties of both lasers simultaneously.

“By combining the two lasers so precisely, we can create new shapes of light pulses that could not be created by either laser individually,” said lead author Robert Shelton, a professional research assistant at JILA, a joint program of the University of Colorado at Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, who completed the work in the lab of Jun Ye. A paper on the subject by Robert Shelton, Long-Sheng Ma, Henry Kapteyn, Margaret Murnane, John Hall and Jun Ye of JILA appears in the August 17 issue of the journal Science.

Ultrafast lasers, or femtosecond lasers, act as an ultrafast light switch similar to a strobe light, only the pulses of light from the laser are many orders of magnitude shorter than the strobe, Shelton said. Scientists use these flashes of laser light to freeze the motion of events that occur in atoms and molecules.

The interaction of coherent light with atoms and molecules, and the control of atoms and molecules have been prominent scientific themes in recent years, he said. Being able to combine the characteristics of two or more pulsed lasers working at different colors will give scientists a more flexible approach in their work with light and matter.

According to Hall, stabilized femtosecond laser pulses also have made possible an unanticipated route for connecting radio and optical frequency spectral regions.

The group�s work was accomplished by the successful merger of pulsed laser technology pioneered by researchers Murnane and Kapteyn with frequency domain laser control techniques developed by Hall and Ye.

Sponsored Recommendations

Request a quote: Micro 3D Printed Part or microArch micro-precision 3D printers

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Precision Motion Control for Sample Manipulation in Ultra-High Resolution Tomography

April 10, 2024
Learn the critical items that designers and engineers must consider when attempting to achieve reliable ultra-high resolution tomography results here!

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!