Summer Semester 2021

Ultrafast Sources

Lecture notes

The course Ultrafast Sources is held by Prof. Francesca Calegari and Prof. Franz Kärtner at the University of Hamburg during the Summer Semester 2021.  Below you can find all necessary information:

Lectures: Tue12:00-13:30 and Th 15:00-16:30, Online Course using Zoom and Slack;

Recitations: Th16:45-18:15, Online Course using Zoom and Slack;

Start:April 6, 2020 with link:

Meeting ID: 989 2571 8145

Passcode: 2021UFSo


  • Linear and nonlinear pulse propagation;
  • Optical solitons and pulse compression;
  • Laser dynamics: single-mode, multi-mode, Q-switching, mode locking;
  • Pulse characterization;
  • Femtosecond laser frequency combs;
  • Stochastic processes and noise in mode-locked lasers;
  • Ultrafast quantum optics, laser amplifiers and parametric amplifiers;
  • Ultrafastelectron sourcesand electron diffraction.


If the pandemic situation allows you will have the chance to build your own short pulse fiber laser and characterize it, in three afternoon sessions end of the term.

Course schedule

 6.4.2021     Introduction to Ultrafast Sources

 8.4.2021     Linear Pulse Propagation

13.4.2021     Optical Pulses and Dispersion Problem Set 1 Out

15.4.2021     Nonlinear Pulse Propagation

20.4.2021     Self-Phase Modulation (SPM) and Solitons Problem Set 1 Due, Problem Set 2 Out

22.4.2021     Soliton Perturbation Theory: Dispersive Waves and Kelly Sidebands

27.4.2021     Dispersion Compensation Techniques Problem Set 2 Due, Problem Set 3 Out

29.4.2021     Maxwell-Bloch Equations and Gain

 4.5.2021     Laser Rate Equations, CW-Operation and Relaxation OscillationsProblem Set 3 Due, Problem Set 4 Out

 6.5.2021     Q-Switching

11.5.2021     Master Equation and Active Mode-LockingProblem Set 4 Due, Problem Set 5 Out

13.5.2021     Passive Mode-Locking with Fast and Slow Saturable Absorbers

18.5.2021     Artificial and Real Absorber Mode-Locking, APM, KLM, SESAMProblem Set 5 Due, Problem Set 6 Out

20.5.2021     Stochastic Processes and Noise

25.5.2021     Noise in Mode-Locked LasersProblem Set 6 Due, Problem Set 7 Out

27.5.2021     Ultrafast Quantum Optics

 1.6.2021     Ultrafast Quantum OpticsProblem Set 7 Due, Problem Set 8 Out

 3.6.2021     Femtosecond Laser Frequency Combs

 8.6.2021     Laser Amplifiers Problem Set 8 Due

10.6.2021     Pulse Characterization: Autocorrelation, FROG, SPIDER and 2DSIBuild your own short pulse fiber laser

15.6.2021     Introduction to Nonlinear Optics

17.6.2021     Parametric Interactions: OPA and OPOBuild your own short pulse fiber laser

22.6.2021     Broadband Parametric Amplification#

24.6.2021     Pulse Compression (Hollow-Core), Build your own short pulse fiber laser

29.6.2021     Pulse Compression (Multi-pass Cavities)

 1.7.2021     Ultrafast electron sources and Electron Diffraction, Build your own short pulse fiber laser

 6.7.2021     Laser Induced Electron Diffraction

 8.7.2021     Lab Tours