Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCF researchers record world record laser pulse

05.09.2012
A University of Central Florida research team has created the world's shortest laser pulse and in the process may have given scientists a new tool to watch quantum mechanics in action – something that has been hidden from view until now.

UCF Professor Zenghu Chang from the Department of Physics and the College of Optics and Photonics, led the effort that generated a 67-attosecond pulse of extreme ultraviolet light. The results of his research are published online under Early Posting in the journal Optics Letters.

An attosecond is an incomprehensible quintillionith of a second. In other words it would take 15 million billion pulses of the size Chang's team achieved to equal one second. The accomplishment is even more remarkable because the team did it without the use of specialized equipment including a mile-long particle accelerator or a Superdome-sized synchrotron.

"Dr. Chang's success in making ever-shorter light pulses helps open a new door to a previously hidden world, where we can watch electrons move in atoms and molecules, and follow chemical reactions as they take place," said Michael Johnson, the dean of the UCF College of Sciences and a physicist. "It is astounding to imagine that we may now be able to watch quantum mechanics in process."

Quantum mechanics is the study of physics at the microscopic level, specifically looking at energy and matter on this miniscule scale.

There is much excitement about the accomplishment and the promise Chang's work holds for helping scientists understand how the world's smallest building blocks actually work. The technique could lead scientists to understand how energy can be harnessed to transport data, deliver targeted cancer therapies or diagnose disease. The finding marks the first significant breakthrough in the laser pulse field in four years.

In 2001, attosecond pulses were demonstrated for the first time. Since then scientists around the world have been trying to make ever-shorter pulse durations because of the door they could open to understanding the subatomic world. The previous record of an 80-attosecond pulse was set in 2008 at the Max Planck Institute in Garching, Germany. This is the first time an American-led team has set the record.

"The quest for generating shorter and shorter pulses of light has been ongoing since the invention of the laser more than five decades ago," said Bahaa Saleh, dean of CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics. "Dr. Chang's recent advance brings UCF to the forefront of this Olympic race and opens up new frontiers for seeing and recording ultrafast dynamic atomic phenomena."

Chang's team was able to accomplish the work at the Florida Atto Science &Technology (FAST) lab in UCF's Physical Sciences building.

Using the unprecedented power of laser light enables Chang and his peers to conduct their high-level research in much smaller spaces. Chang's group created a technique called Double Optical Grating that allows extreme ultraviolet light to be cut off in a manner that concentrates the maximum amount of energy in the shortest possible pulse of light. With the affinity for acronyms shared by many ultrafast laser physicists, Chang named the technique DOG. In addition to creating the light pulse, he created an even faster camera to measure it, which is the Phase Retrieval by Omega Oscillation Filtering (PROOF).

###

The Department of Defense's Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative and the National Science Foundation helped fund the research.

Others who contributed to the team's discovery include: Kun Zhao, Qi Zhang, Michael Chini, Yi Wu, and Xiaowei Wang, all at UCF. UCF Stands For Opportunity --The University of Central Florida is a metropolitan research university that ranks as the second largest in the nation with more than 59,000 students. UCF's first classes were offered in 1968. The university offers impressive academic and research environments that power the region's economic development. UCF's culture of opportunity is driven by our diversity, Orlando environment, history of entrepreneurship and our youth, relevance and energy. For more information visit http://news.ucf.edu

Zenaida Kotala | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucf.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>