Expensive, delicate, and difficult to operate, femtosecond lasers have already won two Nobel Prizes and created multi-billion dollar industries. As these lasers break out of laboratories for use in real-world large-scale applications, the number of people using them increases. This book provides a fresh perspective on femtosecond lasers, discussing how they are soon to become a universal light source, spanning any timescale and generating any wavelength of light. Starting from the basics of light itself, this book presents in an everyday manner, with clear illustrations and without formulas, what makes this class of lasers so versatile and the future of many more applications. Many of the subjects covered in this book are described in plain words for the first time.
Table of Contents
Prologue; Chapter One: Introduction; Chapter Two: Why Femto; Chapter Three: What is a Light Pulse; Chapter Four: A Pulse Goes Through a Transparent Medium; Chapter Five: Light Matter Interactions (Part One); Chapter Six: Light Matter Interactions (Part Two); Chapter Seven: About Femtosecond Pulse Generation; Chapter Eight: How to Measure Femtosecond Pulses (Part One); Chapter Nine: Shaping the Laser Pulses; Chapter Ten: How to Measure Femtosecond Pulses (Part Two); Chapter Eleven: Applications of Shaped Pulses to Biomedical Imaging; Chapter Twelve: Applications of Shaped Pulses to Standoff Detection of Explosives and Other Materials; Chapter Thirteen: Applications of Shaped Pulses to Surgery, and Material Cutting or Processing; Chapter Fourteen: Applications of Shaped Pulses to Communications; Chapter Fifteen: Applications of Shaped Pulses in Science; Chapter Sixteen: A Survey of New Directions Being Explored, and Potential New Applications; Chapter Seventeen: The Ultrafast Laser Scaling Revolution.
Marcos Dantus has pioneered the use of shaped ultrafast pulses to probe molecular properties and control chemical reactions, as well as for practical applications such as biomedical imaging, proteomics, and standoff detection of explosives. His contributions range from the discovery of nonlinear optical properties and processes to the invention of laser optimization instruments; the development of theory to simulate and predict the interaction of molecules with shaped laser beams, to the development of ultrafast electron diffraction, and inventing an instrument capable of automated pulse compression which is enabling research around the world, as well as novel fiber laser designs. Dantus received his BA and MA degrees in Chemistry from Brandeis University. He received his PhD from Caltech in 1991 where he worked with A. H. Zewail, the father of Femtochemistry and the winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Dantus published 20 articles with Zewail between 1986 and 1993 on the development of Femtochemistry. Dantus has over 225 publications and was named Inventor of the Year by Michigan State University, given his 43 invention disclosures and 22 issued patents. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, The American Physical Society and The Optical Society of America. Dantus regularly collaborates with different branches of the U.S. Department of Defense. Dantus has founded three companies: KTM Industries, which manufactures biodegradable packing materials; Biophotonic Solutions, which commercialized automated femtosecond pulse compression, and MTBIsense LLC which is introducing affordable headgear sensors that are simple to read and provide quantitative information for return-to-play decisions in youth sports. Dantus serves as Director of Research and Development of Total Power Inc., for which he formulated a biodegradable fuel additive for reducing consumption and emissions related to heavy industry and mining.
This book is for those individuals who would like to learn more about the sophisticated world of ultrafast lasers. It gives a comprehensive view on key features and phenomena involved in pulse generation, manipulation and interaction with matter. The material is presented in a simple and logical manner with bright examples. The topics listed in the Table of Content cover almost all aspects required by advanced university course, but presented in a manner suitable for a reader without special background. – Andrey Bordenyuk, IPG Photonics, Oxford, Massachusetts, USA
Prof. Marcos Dantus’ book provides an excellent and easy to follow introduction to ultrafast pulse shaping and applications. This book is very useful for undergraduate students without previous in-depth knowledge of optics, industry professionals, and the curious reader. The easy-to-read and streamlined contents of this book will help the reader to get a taste of how femtosecond pulses play an important role in many applications and of all the subtleties related to their propagation in media. – Marco Arrigoni, Coherent, Inc.
I am excited to see this book in print: it not only gives readers a broad introduction to the basics of lasers, ultrafast pulses, and their manipulation but also motivates the use of ultrafast laser systems in solving real-world problems. Professor Dantus breaks down the complicated science of lasers and ultrashort pulses into a descriptive, almost personal conversation that is approachable to novices and experts alike. Reading through the chapters feels like sitting down with Professor Dantus and having a one-on-one conversation: he clearly communicates the art and science of ultrafast lasers and his excitement and enthusiasm for the subjects shines through. – Conor Evans, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School