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Optics made to measure
Date:9/19/2009

nd Ulf Kleineberg, who is also a professor at LMU include leading experts in the field of specialized optics. Ferenc Krausz is regarded as one of the inventors of the so-called chirped mirror, a particular type of mirror that enables the creation of ultrashort laser pulses, and he is the holder of several patents on this technology.

Chirped mirrors allow one, for example, to compensate for the phenomenon of material-dependent dispersion, which occurs if the reflective surface delays light of different colors to different degrees an effect that can increase pulse duration. Indeed, it was the ability of the chirped mirror to diminish this effect that first enabled the generation of ultrashort light pulses. With the aid of such mirrors, researchers were able, in 2008, to produce flashes that lasted for only 80 attoseconds, in this way breaking the 100-attosecond barrier for the first time, and creating the shortest light pulses ever generated in the laboratory. In 80 attoseconds light travels a distance of less than one thousandth of a millimeter.

"Such light pulses give us the opportunity to observe the movements of electrons in atoms and molecules in real time", explains Dr. Jens Rauschenberger, a member of Ferenc Krausz's research group and managing director of the new company. "It is like using a camera. To capture a sharp image of a fast-moving object, you need very short exposure times."

A better understanding of how electrons behave is of practical relevance for communication technologies, for example, and will help to further improve the efficiency of data processing. Short bursts of visible light are already being used for imaging techniques in medicine. Optical coherence tomography, for instance, is an important tool in ophthalmology, allowing one to examine the retina.

One especially notable aspect of UltraFast Innovations GmbH lies in its very close links with current basic research. "Since the development and manufactur
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Contact: Dr. Jens Rauschenberger
info@ultrafast-innovations.com
49-892-891-4097
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

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