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- About JILA
Optical physicists manipulate light to produce ultrashort laser pulses and then study these pulses to gain insight into the fundamental properties of light. The investigation of light is intertwined with the development of extreme light sources, molecular fingerprinting and control, and the precise control of ultrafast pulses. Thanks to JILA research, ultrafast lasers can now deliver "designer" light pulses whose applications include the study and control of dynamical processes in chemistry, biology, materials science, medicine, telecommunications, and nanotechnology. Optics research also impacts signal processing, furthering the development of precision measurement, optical frequency standards, and optical atomic clocks . In their quest to understand light, JILA’s optical physicists are currently looking to answer such questions as:
- What does an electronic wave form look like at optical frequencies?
- Can we implement optical-cavity-based spectroscopy to study molecular dynamics?
- Can we develop laser pulses that are fast enough to capture the motion of atoms and molecules or observe microelectronic processes?
- How do electromagnetic waves interact with matter at the quantum mechanical level?
- Can we create 'designer' pulses that interact with quantum systems more efficiently than traditional Gaussian-shaped laser pulses?