From The University of Central Florida (US) : “The University of Central Florida Develops the World’s First Optical Oscilloscope”

From The University of Central Florida (US)

December 13, 2021
Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala

Adam Hunt
@AdamHuntTT

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Physics Associate Professor Michael Chini is part of the UCF team that created the world’s first optical oscilloscope.

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Schematic of the world’s first optical oscilloscope.Electronics360

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World’s first optical oscilloscope developed. TweakTown.

A team from UCF has developed the world’s first optical oscilloscope, an instrument that is able to measure the electric field of light. The device converts light oscillations into electrical signals, much like hospital monitors convert a patient’s heartbeat into electrical oscillation.

Until now, reading the electric field of light has been a challenge because of the high speeds at which light waves oscillates. The most advanced techniques, which power our phone and internet communications, can currently clock electric fields at up to gigahertz frequencies — covering the radio frequency and microwave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Light waves oscillate at much higher rates, allowing a higher density of information to be transmitted. However, the current tools for measuring light fields could resolve only an average signal associated with a ‘pulse’ of light, and not the peaks and valleys within the pulse. Measuring those peaks and valleys within a single pulse is important because it is in that space that information can be packed and delivered.

“Fiber optic communications have taken advantage of light to make things faster, but we are still functionally limited by the speed of the oscilloscope,” says Physics Associate Professor Michael Chini, who worked on the research at UCF. “Our optical oscilloscope may be able to increase that speed by a factor of about 10,000.”

The team’s findings are published in this week’s Nature Photonics journal.

The team developed the device and demonstrated its capability for real-time measurement of the electric fields of individual laser pulses in Chini’s lab at UCF. The next step for the team is to see how far they can push the speed limits of the technique.

The lead author of the paper is UCF postdoctoral scholar Yangyang Liu. Other authors include physics alums Jonathan Nesper ’19 ’21MS, who earned his bachelor’s in math and master’s in physics; Shima Gholam-Mirzaei ’18MS ’20PhD; and John E. Beetar ’15 ’17MS ’20PhD.

Gholam-Mirzaei is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint Attosecond Science Laboratory at The National Research Council of Canada [Conseil national de recherches Canada](CA) and The University of Ottawa (CA) and Beetar is completing a postdoc at The University of California-Berkeley (US).

Chini had the idea for the single-shot waveform measurement scheme and oversaw the research team. Liu led the experimental effort and performed most of the measurements and simulations. Beetar assisted with the measurements of the carrier-envelope phase dependence. Nesper and Gholam-Mirzaei assisted with the construction of the experimental setup and with the data collection. All authors contributed to the data analysis and wrote the journal article.

See the full article here .

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Founded in 1963 by the Florida Legislature, The University of Central Florida (US) opened in 1968 as Florida Technological University, with the mission of providing personnel to support the growing U.S. space program at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Florida’s Space Coast. As the school’s academic scope expanded beyond engineering and technology, Florida Tech was renamed The University of Central Florida in 1978. UCF’s space roots continue, as it leads the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium. Initial enrollment was 1,948 students; enrollment today exceeds 66,000 students from 157 countries, all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Most of the student population is on the university’s main campus, 13 miles (21 km) east of downtown Orlando and 35 miles (56 km) west of Cape Canaveral. The university offers more than 200 degrees through 13 colleges at 10 regional campuses in Central Florida, the Health Sciences Campus at Lake Nona, the Rosen College of Hospitality Management in south Orlando and the Center for Emerging Media in downtown Orlando. Since its founding, UCF has awarded more than 290,000 degrees, including over 50,000 graduate and professional degrees, to over 260,000 alumni worldwide.

The University of Central Florida is a space-grant university. Its official colors are black and gold, and the university logo is Pegasus, which “symbolizes the university’s vision of limitless possibilities.” The university’s intercollegiate sports teams, known as the “UCF Knights” and represented by mascot Knightro, compete in NCAA Division I and the American Athletic Conference.