Until now, complex experimental equipment was required to measure the shape of a light pulse. A team from TU Wien (Vienna), MPI Garching and LMU Munich has now made this much easier.
Two laser pulses hit silicon dioxide
Picture: TU Wien, Download und Verwendung honorarfrei
Today, modern lasers can generate extremely short light pulses, which can be used for a wide range of applications from investigating materials to medical diagnostics. For this purpose, it is important to measure the shape of the laser light wave with high accuracy. Until now, this has required a large, complex experimental setup. Now this can be done with a tiny crystal with a diameter of less than one millimeter. The new method has been developed by the MPI for Quantum Optics in Garching, the LMU Munich and the TU Wien (Vienna). The advance will now help to clarify important details about the interaction of light and matter.