We present a remarkably simple technique for measuring the full spatio-temporal electric field of a single ultrashort laser pulse. It involves capturing a large digital hologram containing multiple smaller holograms, each of which characterizes the spatial intensity and phase distributions of an individual frequency component of the pulse. From that single camera frame, we numerically reconstruct the complete electric field, E(x,y,t), using a direct algorithm. While holography requires a well-characterized reference pulse, this pulse can easily be generated from the pulse itself in most cases, so the technique is self-referencing. We experimentally demonstrate this technique using femtosecond pulses from a mode-locked Ti:Sapphire oscillator.
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