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Graphene Yields Another Trick: Ultrashort Laser Pulses 24

Posted by timothy
from the pew-pew-pew dept.
ananyo writes with this excerpt from Nature News: "Experiments suggest that [graphene] can be used to create ultrashort laser pulses of any colour, owing to an ability to absorb light over a broad range of wavelengths. So far, the researchers have coaxed the material to produce pulses of radiation from a broad spectrum of infrared wavelengths, which are useful in applications such as fibre optic communications. Their results, together with the known properties of graphene, suggest that the material should be able to yield similar ultrashort pulses over the entire spectrum of visible light as well. The discovery could help researchers to build small, cheap and highly versatile ultrashort-pulse lasers, with potential applications ranging from micro-machinery to medicine."
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Graphene Yields Another Trick: Ultrashort Laser Pulses

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  • That's Laser in finger quotes :)

    Bwahhh Bwahhhh Bwahhhhh

  • Oh, that graphene. What can't it do?

  • Does this mean I'll be able to torture cats with a BLUE laser?

    Because that's a lot cooler then any of the petty stuff mentioned in the article.

  • Gatling Lasers? Just need plasma armor and I'm set!

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @12:20PM (#43841657) Homepage

    Nature used to be a prestigious, tightly edited scientific journal. Now, it's like the Weekly World News of science. Especially in computing and materials science.

    This isn't an article published in Nature. It's a blurb for an reference in Applied Physics Letters to an announcement that's scheduled to be made at the Lasers and Electro-Optics Conference next month. Then we'll find out if this really works. Maybe.

    You can't store much energy in a single sheet of atoms. This may generate very weak femtosecond pulses. There are lots of interesting uses for very short laser pulses in imaging. A nanosecond pulse is a foot long.

  • Is a single photon considered an "uber-short beyond all uber-shortness" laser pulse?

    If not, what about to arbitrary successive photons in a laser beam - if all of the photons before and after them were diverted, would these two photons together constitute an extremely short laser pulse?

    If the answer to either is yes, how many "laser beam photons" in a row do you need (assuming a single-photon-wide beam) before whether the beam is a "laser" or not has any practical significance? Or is a single-photon-wide l

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How many grains of sand does it take to make a piles of sand?

      It mostly comes down to how many you need to do something practical. There are uses for single photon sources and they are used a lot in quantum mechanics research. But you can't really call it a laser, because it is neither coherent or incoherent if you only have one.

      In the real world, many times it isn't black and white as coherent and incoherent, either. Sometimes it has to be just coherent enough, and there is a matter over what time an

  • Is there anything it can't do?

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson