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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C549333/1
Title: Application for Emergency Laser Reinstatement due to Laser-Tube Failure
Principal Investigator: Kar, Professor AK
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 10 June 2005 Ends: 09 June 2008 Value (£): 30,538
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Lasers & Optics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Nonlinear Optics Group studies a variety of effects arising from the way that light interacts with matter. The simplest way to do this is to use a laser as the source of the light. There are three reasons why lasers are so useful in this respect.1. The wavelength can be precisely controlled so that only one wavelength of powerful light (the pump wavelength) impacts on the material sample at a time.2. The laser pulses can be so brief in duration that the response of the material to the powerful light can be studied as a sequence of effects.3. A laser beam can be strong enough to provide a broadband pulse (a laser rainbow ) which allows the condition of the sample to be probed by many wavelengths at once.In the Nonlinear Optics Group we have combined these three advantages to allow us to affect the material by pumping at one powerful wavelength, and then study its response at many other wavelengths using the laser rainbow as a probe. This technique has shown us many interesting facts about the relationship between light and material in semiconductors (for example). This is clearly an important area of research when you consider that a laser diode, such as might be found in a CD player, is actually a semiconductor emitting light.In addition to studying materials, we also study the laser rainbow itself. This helps us to design the probe light with very good stability and to understand exactly hoe well it might work in other applications, such a meteorology and medical imaging.Another use of our clever laser system involves the study of ultrashort pulse propogation through telecommunications devices and materials. In this case the sample under investigation could be an optical fibre. Now it is easy to see hoe the light might affect the sample in a big way, as it is trapped in such a small diameter of material.The reason we are asking for a little extra funding is simply that the laser at the very heart of our complex system is broken, thus stopping all our research into the subjects described above. The funding bodies have already decided that these projects were worth public funding in the first place.
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Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk