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Evolution of the Supercontinuum Light Source

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The unique spectral and temporal qualities of supercontinuum light sources are advancing our understanding of reactions in biology, chemistry and condensed matter.

ROBERT ALFANO, CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK, AND LINGYAN SHI, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

For many applications, coherent light at a single frequency is more than adequate. But having a light source that combines the properties of a laser with the broad bandwidth of an incandescent bulb and a short pulse duration opens up a new realm of possibilities in medical imaging, communications, displays and materials studies. One of most extraordinary discoveries of optical effects came in 1970 from Robert Alfano and Stanley Shapiro1. The duo demonstrated the conversion of a narrow band color — for example, green light of short duration — to white color and beyond. This...Read full article

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