Abstract

We present a new approach (demonstrated experimentally and through modeling) to characterize the spectral envelope of a terahertz (THz) pulse in a single shot. The coherent THz pulse is produced by a femtosecond electron bunch and contains information on the bunch duration. The technique, involving a single low-power laser probe pulse, is an extension of the conventional spectral encoding method (limited in time resolution to hundreds of femtoseconds) into a regime only limited in resolution by the laser pulse length (tens of femtoseconds). While only the bunch duration is retrieved (and not the exact charge profile), such a measurement provides a useful and critical parameter for optimization of the electron accelerator.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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