Collection |

Nobel Prize in Physics 2018

This collection of research papers, reviews, commentaries and associated content from Nature Research celebrates the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for “ground-breaking inventions in the field of laser physics”. Half of the prize has been awarded to Arthur Ashkin for the invention of optical tweezers and their application in biology. The other half has been awarded to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for the invention of the chirped pulse amplification method for generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses which underpins applications such as laser eye surgery, laser fusion and laser particle acceleration. This collection illustrates the breadth, diversity and impact that these optical techniques have had in science.

Ultrafast fibre lasers are an important optical system with industrial, medical and purely scientific applications. Essential components and the operation regimes of ultrafast fibre laser systems are reviewed, as are their use in various applications.

Review Article | | Nature Photonics

Could massive arrays of thousands of fibre lasers be the driving force behind next-generation particle accelerators? The International Coherent Amplification Network project believes so and is currently performing a feasibility study.

Commentary | | Nature Photonics

Increasing the power of ultra-high-intensity lasers requires crystal amplifiers and metre-scale optical compression gratings that are ever more difficult to build. Simulations suggest that Raman amplification in a plasma could permit the generation of laser intensities many orders of magnitude higher than currently possible.

News & Views | | Nature Physics

The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project is dedicated to the investigation of light–matter interactions at high laser intensities and on short timescales.

Editorial | | Nature Materials