Abstract

We investigated how the duration of short laser pulses evolves in a dispersive material, using rms widths and a propagation law based on a pulse quality factor. Experiments were carried out with femtosecond pulses (10 to 25 fs at the temporal waist) propagating in bulk fused silica. Excellent agreement was found between theory and experiment. This approach does not require complete characterization of laser pulses and eliminates the need for any assumption regarding the interpretation of autocorrelation traces. The method is of general validity, and it can be applied to pulses of arbitrary shape.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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