Ultrafast Laser Techniques and Experiment
Physics 8820, Spring Semester, 2020

Douglass Schumacher
4180 Physics Research Building.
Office hours by appointment.
Phone: 292-7035

Physics 8820 (Special Topics)
Tuesday: 8:30 - 10 am.
Thursday: 4:30 - 6 pm.
Denney Hall, Room 262.

Ultrashort Laser Pulse Phenomena
Second Edition
Jean-Claude Diels and Wolfgang Rudolph

Course Outline:
1) Linear pulse propagation
2) Non-linear optics
3) Characterization of short pulses
4) Short pulse generation and amplification
5) Experimental techniques using short pulses

Information on this page: Useful Web Sites Applets General Links
Other class pages: Book References Journal References

Homework Assignments

Tutorials: Using Math Packages To Perform Fourier Transforms

Students in a previous class wrote some tutorials to help you.

Origin by Yukti Aggarwal.
Matlab by Elijah Kemp, Andy Krygier and Chris Willis. Includes sample code.
Origin by Chuang Tan and Zheyun Liu.
Mathematica by Steven Schoun.
Mathematica by Justin Young. Includes a notebook and a practice waveform.

Useful Web Sites:

Chirped Pulse Amplification

Sites With Material Closely Related To This Class

Rick Trebino Group Page
This is an unusally useful site from one of the leaders of the field. There are tutorials, lecture notes and even stories. If you plan to be in this field, you should explore.
Femtosecond Laser Pulses: Linear Properties, Manipulation, Generation and Measurement is an excellent discussion covering the first several weeks of class. It's (a draft?) from the Springer Handbook of Lasers and Optics. It uses the notation of D&R but is, I think, more concise and clear.
NASA database on laser materials. Start with 'Contents'. Includes spectra, damage thresholds, nonlinear coefficients and other useful information.

Companies With Data Referred To In Class (needed for some homework assignments)

Schott Glass - Maker of materials commonly used in optical systems. Their download section has a number of useful resources. A few that we'll need are available below from this site directly (actually, I downloaded these from their archive several years ago).

Properties of optical glass (pocket catalog) "[A]n excerpt of the important properties of the optical glasses from our main catalog," but for our purposes the notation/terminology discussion is especially important. See sections 1 and 9.
Optical Catalog Excel file containing optical properites, including Sellmeir coefficients, of many glass types including bk7, sf10, ...
Optical Catalog PDF file listing optical properties of many glass types.

Suppliers of nonlinear optical materials.

Gooch & Housego - Used to be known as Cleveland Crystals, Inc. They don't seem to provide data sheets anymore, at least not that I can find, but they're an Ohio company so I'm keeping the listing.
Eksma Optics - A well known manufacturer. Eksma has some material properties lists. Here are some data sheets on KD*P and BBO (click on the 'Specifications' tab).
You can get material data from the literature, of course, and from various programs available. We'll use these resources, as well.

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Most of these links have died or have other problems. I'll see if I can find replacements.

Fourier Synthesis Mostly for your amusement. Uses your speakers so you can hear the result.
Fourier Synthesis Another one with sound. See if you can "modelock".
Fermat's Principle Illustrated for reflection and refraction.
Group velocity and phase velocity Simple illustration of how a wave looks when differing speeds are used. Try it at the highest frequency and follow the motion near the node in the envelope function.
Simple group velocity demonstration Simple illustration based on the superposition of two waves.
Group Velocity Demonstration Allows you to superpose two arbitrary waves specified using C-like syntax.
Subluminal Illustrates how a pulse can appear to propagate faster than light. (The author should have named it "superluminal" I suppose.)
Gaussian Modes Illustrated Computer generated idealized case, as opposed to the handout I gave you.
TEM00 mode It's hard to focus your eyes on a true TEM00 Gaussian mode.
Stability Diagram of an Optical Cavity Shows your location in the diagram as you modify cavity parameters. Includes a model of the laser cavity below the diagram.
Rays Trajectories in an Optical Cavity Ray trace analysis of a two mirror cavity with adjustable parameters.
Cavity Mode Better version of the above. Find a configuration that gives you a large mode everywhere. Try other variations.
Laser dynamics You select the pump/loss/decay parameters and it solves the rate equations. Excellent for understanding self-Q-switching, transient response, and the approach to steady-state.

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General Laser and Optics Links

Societies Journals Articles Laser Tutorials For the Hobbyist


APS -- Americal Physical Society
OSA -- Optical Society of America
IEEE -- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
SPIE -- The International Society for Optical Engineering

(lasers and optics appear everywhere but these journals are somewhat more focused on the subject)

OSA Online Journals   Applied Optics, JOSA A, JOSA B, Optics Express, and Optics Letters.
IEEE Journal Of Quantum Electronics
Optics and Photonics News
Laser Focus World
The Industrial Physicist (American Institute of Physics) often has articles of importance to lasers and optics.

Review Articles

Science magazine has a special issue on coherence. See it here

Laser Tutorials

Rami Arieli - The Laser Adventure - extensive, with applets and discussion of a variety of applications.

For The Hobbyist
(yes, there is a large community that enjoys building its own lasers)

The Homebuilt Lasers Page
The Laser, Optics and Holography Ring

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