, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 141-152

The Measurement of Ultrashort Light Pulses—Simple Devices, Complex Pulses

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We review the state of the art of ultrashort-light-pulse measurement using frequency-resolved-optical-gating (FROG). Recent developments have extended the state of the art considerably. FROG devices for measuring the intensity and phase of ultrashort laser pulses have become so simple that almost no alignment is required. In addition, such devices not only operate single shot, but they also yield the two most important spatio-temporal distortions, spatial chirp and pulse-front tilt. With other FROG variations, it is now possible to measure more general ultrashort light pulses (i.e., pulses much more complex than common laser pulses), with time-bandwidth products as large as several thousand and as weak as a few hundred photons, and despite other difficulties such as random absolute phase and poor spatial coherence.