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Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics and ECE
Nonlinear optics has revolutionized laser science by making it possible to efficiently convert laser light from one wavelength into another. My research exploits the extreme nonlinear optical process of high-harmonic generation, whereby light from an ultrafast laser can be coherently upshifted, resulting in a tabletop laserlike (coherent) light source in the soft x-ray region. The x-ray bursts generated during high-harmonic generation represent the fastest strobe light in existence, fast enough to capture electron dynamics in atoms, molecules, and materials. Exciting applications of attosecond science and technology include capturing and controlling the coupled motions of electrons and atoms in molecules, high-resolution imaging, nanoscale heat transport, and ultrafast element-specific dynamics in magnetic materials.