Spectroscopy: Photographing a light helix

11 Jul 2022

With their newly developed "nanoTIPTOE" technique, physicists from LMU and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics managed for the first time to record a helical light field on shortest time and length scales.

It has been known since the end of the 19th century that light is an electromagnetic wave, whereby its frequency determines its color. With around one quadrillion oscillations per second, light oscillates so quickly that it was not until the beginning of the 21st century that methods were developed to measure the temporal evolution of its field directly. Since then, more and more secrets of light have been revealed. Now, physicists from the Ultrafast Electronics and Nanophotonics group led by Dr. Boris Bergues and Prof. Matthias Kling from the attoworld team at the LMU and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ) have developed a new technique, the so-called “nanoTIPTOE” technique, which allows measuring the electrical field of ultrashort laser pulses in time and space. This makes it possible to take "photographs" of light waves with a spatial and temporal resolution that has not been achieved before.

Johannes Blöchl, Johannes Schötz, Ancyline Maliakkal, Nātalija Šreibere, Zilong Wang, Philipp Rosenberger, Peter Hommelhoff, Andre Staudte, Paul B. Corkum, Boris Bergues, and Matthias F. Kling. Spatiotemporal sampling of near-petahertz vortex fields. Optica 2022

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