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.