Almost all of my work involves ultrafast optics – making, manipulating, measuring and using pulse of light with durations below 100 fs. The attraction of such pulses is that

  • they offer unprecedented temporal resolution – the ability to observe and influence processes on the natural timescales of electronic and nuclear motion
  • they allow energy to be highly concentrated in space and time so that, for example, a pulse produced by a table-sized laser can have a peak power equal to the total consumption of Great Britain, and an intensity high enough to tear an electron from an atom.

I have worked on several topic within ultrafast optics:

  • the generation of ultrashort coherent extreme ultraviolet and soft x-ray radiation using high-order harmonic generation
  • spectral broadening of laser pulses through the dynamic nonlinear interplay of supercontinuum generation
  • ultrashort pulse characterization
  • pulse shaping and control through scattering media.

I have also done work on statistical models of plasma wave growth.