Ultrafast Metrology

Getting your timing right

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  11 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6423, pp. 138-139
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6423.138-f

The generation of femtosecond and attosecond pulses of light and electrons in the laboratory provides the ability to probe the dynamics of some of the fastest processes that occur in nature. For larger facilities, however, achieving such performance levels requires synchronization across many components, operational wavelengths, and sometimes across infrastructure separated by kilometers. Xin et al. review the various approaches and characterization technologies being developed to synchronize the operation of large-scale systems, outlining the obstacles and possible directions to take on the way to meeting those precision timing challenges. Matching the timing capability in large user facilities with devices such as free-electron lasers and extreme light sources would allow these facilities to reach their potential for imaging ultrafast processes in biological and condensed matter systems.

Optica 5, 1564 (2018).

Navigate This Article