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Housetraining a Titan: overcoming the hurdles to a real-world deployment of ultrafast lasers

Kemp, A. and Hopkins, J.M. and Valentine, G.J. and Holt, T. and Burns, D. (2003) Housetraining a Titan: overcoming the hurdles to a real-world deployment of ultrafast lasers. The Laser User, 31. pp. 31-38.

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Abstract

Ultrashort pulse lasers possess all the potential to become the optical penknife for the new millennium. From the most fundamental chemistry to the most precise cutting and drilling, the singular properties of these lasers render them a uniquely useful tool. Yet to fulfil this destiny, more than mere utility is required: the penknife is compact; the penknife is reliable; the penknife is robust. Until recently ultrashort pulse lasers were none of these things. Utility hungry and temperamental, this titan remained trapped in the laser lab.