Becker, Philippe Formerly, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey.
McCrory, Robert L. Laboratory for Laser Energetics, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York.
- Mode locking
- Shortest durations
- Time-resolved spectroscopy
- High-intensity pulses
- High-power laser interaction studies
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Bursts of electromagnetic radiation of finite duration. Optical pulses are used to transmit information or to record the chronology of physical events. The simplest example is the photographic flash. This was probably first developed by early photographers who used flash powder that, when ignited, produced a short burst of intense light. This was followed by the flash lamp, in which a tube filled with an inert gas such as xenon is excited by a brief electrical pulse. A great advance in the creation of short optical pulses came with the invention of the laser. Lasers are now the most common and effective way of generating a variety of short optical pulses, of different durations, energies, and wavelengths. See also: Laser; Stroboscopic photography
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