Abstract

Some general conditions concerning the properties of apparatuses that can measure completely the amplitude and the phase of a pulse’s electric field by using a slow detector are formulated. In particular, it is shown that a necessary and sufficient condition for the characterization of an ultrashort pulse shape is that the apparatus consist of at least one time nonstationary and one time stationary element. We show that there are only four possible noninterferometric schemes that meet this criterion. We discuss separately these four minimal methods and the associated algorithms for reconstructing the pulse shape from the measured data.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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Figures (9)

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