My research focuses on the generation and application of ultrafast light pulses of only a few cycles in duration. For this work, Prof. Kapteyn and I design and build new types of lasers and investigate new methods for optical pulse shaping and control. One application of extremely short light pulses is to use them to generate coherent X-ray beams. These femtosecond (and possibly attosecond) duration X-ray pulses can be used to study nonlinear optics in regimes not accessible with any other techniques, for holography and microscopy, or to visualize the fastest processes in chemical and material systems. At present, we have a diverse mixture of physicists, engineers, and chemical physicists in our group.
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