Short Courses

Short Courses

Short Courses cover a broad range of topic areas at a variety of educational levels (introductory to advanced). The courses are taught by highly regarded industry experts in a variety of specialties. Short Courses are an excellent opportunity to learn about new products, cutting-edge technology and vital information at the forefront of your field. They are designed to increase your knowledge of a specific subject while offering you the experience of knowledgeable teachers.

Certificate of Attendances are available for those who register and attend a course. To request a Certificate of Attendance after the conference, please email with your name, the course name, conference name, and year.

Each Short Course requires a separate fee. Paid registration includes admission to the course and one copy of the Short Course Notes. Advance registration is advisable. The number of seats in each course is limited, and on-site registration is not guaranteed.

ASSL and LS&C Short Course Schedule

Sunday, 27 October 2013 - 12:30 - 15:30

*SC406 Nonlinear Effects in Fibers, Thomas Schreiber, Fraunhofer IOF Jena, Germany (ASSL).

Cancelled   SC404 Parametric Generation, Benoit Boulanger, Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble I), France (ASSL).

Cancelled -   SC405 New Developments in Coherent Laser Radar, Paul McManamon1, Ed Watson2, 1Exciting Technology LLC, USA, 2Univ. of Dayton, USA (LS&C).

Sunday, 27 October 2013 - 16:00-19:00

*SC290 High-power Fiber Lasers and Amplifiers, Johan Nilsson, Optoelectronics Research Ctr., Univ. of Southampton, UK (ASSL).  

Cancelled -SC337 Single Photon Detection with Avalanche Photodiode, Mark Itzler, Princeton Lightwave Inc., USA (LS&C).

Cancelled -SC407 High-harmonic Generation and Attosecond Pulses, Eric Constant, CELIA, France (ASSL).


Short Course Descriptions 


SC404 Parametric Generation (ASSL)

Benoit Boulanger, Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble I), France
Sunday, 27 October 2013, 12:30 - 15:30

Course Level: Intermediate
Course Description: This lecture focuses on fundamental crystal parametric optics that is one of the most fascinating field of nonlinear optics involving corpuscular and wave aspects of light in strong interaction with the electrons of matter, and leading to optical frequency synthesis and mixing at the origin of numerous applications.
1) Constitutive relations and Maxwell equations. 2) Classification of the nonlinear interactions through the corpuscular approach: fusion and splitting involving three or four photons, spontaneous and stimulated processes. 3) Calculation of the electric susceptibility by Lorentz model: perturbation approach leading to the definition of the different orders of the electric susceptibility, wavelength dispersion, intrinsic symmetries (Kleinman and ABDP), implications of spatial symmetry on the susceptibility tensors (Neumann principle). 4) Tensor algebra and calculation of the first, second and third order polarizations. 5) Modelling of the macroscopic nonlinearities of matter from the microscopic scale using the bond charge model and ab initio calculation, Miller index. 6) Basics in linear crystal optics: propagation equation, index surface, birefringence, double refraction, eigenmodes. 7) Amplitude equations in the nonlinear regime, Manley-Rowe relations. 8) Calculation of the effective coefficient based on the field tensor formalism. 9) Types and topology of collinear and non-collinear Birefringence Phase-matching and Quasi-Phase-Matching in bulk media and whispering-gallery-mode resonators. 10) Conversion efficiency calculation of second harmonic generation (SHG), direct and cascaded third harmonic generation (THG), and optical parametric interactions: fluorescence, amplification (OPA), chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA), generation (OPG), oscillation (OPO). 11) Angular, spectral and thermal acceptances. 12) Spatial and temporal walk-off effects. 13) Techniques of characterization of nonlinear crystals for the determination of phase-matching and quasi-phase-matching loci, magnitude and relative signs of the nonlinear coefficients, acceptances. 14) The main materials for parametric generation, from ultraviolet to THz.
Benefits and Learning Objectives: This new course aims at giving guidelines and tools for the design, characterization and use of crystals for parametric generation.

This course should enable participants to :

  • Explain the main lines and key parameters of fundamental crystal parametric optics
  • Compare the figures of merit of various nonlinear materials
  • Compute phase-matching directions, quasi-phase-matching periodicities, angular and spectral acceptances, effective coefficients, conversion efficiencies
  • Measure nonlinear coefficients, phase-matching directions, spectral and angular acceptances, a figure of merit, a conversion efficiency

 Intended Audience: This course is specifically built for physicists as well as chemists interested in crystal parametric optics: crystal growers and designers wanting to identify the relevant parameters, laser physicists aiming at working in nonlinear optics or users willing to go deeper in the field at the frontier of crystal physics,  coming from industry or universities and other academic institutes. Various job levels are concerned: PhD students, postdocs, engineers, researchers, professors. The basics of electromagnetism, solid state and laser physics are recommended.
Instructor Biography: Benoit Boulanger is Professor at Grenoble University and CNRS - Néel Institute. He has authored over 180 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings. His work is at the interface between nonlinear crystal optics, material engineering and quantum optics. His main achievements concern the crystal growth of KTP compounds, the development of the field factor formalism, the invention of the sphere method, the understanding of gray-tracking in KTP, the development of angular-quasi-phase-matching, and the first demonstration of triple photon generation.

SC405 New Developments in Coherent Laser Radar (LS&C)

Paul McManamon1, Ed Watson2, 1Exciting Technology LLC, USA, 2Univ. of Dayton, USA
Sunday, 27 October 2013, 12:30 - 15:30

Course Description: This course will describe recent developments in sensing using coherent laser radar, in particular imaging and vibrometry.  The course will begin with an introduction to methods of measuring the electric field scattered from an object of interest and then cover techniques and architectures to implement coherent laser radar. For image sensing, emphasis will be on new implementations such as sparse and synthetic apertures. Implementation techniques that will be covered include temporal heterodyne and spatial heterodyne (digital holography). Various trades and constraints will be described, such as field of view, resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, transmitter diversity and receiver diversity. Hardware requirements will be described with an emphasis on receiver types. Processing techniques will be described, including methods to register and phase images from multiple apertures/locations. For vibrometry, emphasis will be on implementation schemes and constraints. An introduction to laser vibrometry will be provided, followed by a description of three waveform implementation methods:  Continuous Wave (CW), poly pulse, and high duty cycle waveforms. A description of impact of beam size, beam angle and other sensing conditions will be provided.

Benefits and Learning Objectives
After completion of this short course the participant will be able to:

  • Design to first order a coherent laser radar system

  • Describe two basic methods to implement coherent laser radar imaging

  • Describe the processing requirements for coherent laser radar imaging

  • Explain the methods to estimate vibration from scattered laser energy

  • Compute expected signal-to-noise ratios for various coherent laser radar implementations

  • Identify key constraints on implementing a coherent laser radar sensor

Intended Audience: This course is intended for scientists and engineers who want to apply laser technology to sensing.   Familiarity with basic optical wave theory and mathematical techniques such as Fourier transforms is assumed.

Instructor Biographies
Dr. Paul McManamon was chief scientist for the Sensors Directorate in AFRL prior to retiring in 2008. He was president of SPIE in 2006.  He is currently chair of a US national academy of sciences study on active EO sensing (Ladar. He was recent co-chair of the NAS study, “Optics and Photonics; Essential Technologies for our Nation”.  He and Dr Watson recently co-taught a graduate course in ladar at the University of Dayton.   In the 90’s Dr McManamon served as chair for 4 years of the Military Sensing Symposium on Active EO Systems.

Dr. Ed Watson has over 20 years experience in laser radar technologies.  While at the US Air Force Research Laboratory he was instrumental in the development of laser radar imaging technology in the eye-safe wavelength region and has published on many laser radar imaging architectures.  He has served as program manager for several coherent laser radar programs as well as taught the basics of signal-to-noise in his statistical optics course.  He served as Chair of the Military Sensing Symposium on Active EO Systems for 3 years.

SC406 Nonlinear Effects in Fibers (ASSL)

Thomas Schreiber, Fraunhofer IOF Jena, Germany
Sunday, 27 October 2013, 12:30-15:30

Course description 
The extended nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLSE) is the basic equation for the description of optical pulse propagation in fibers that experience various linear and nonlinear effects. The course will first focus on the basic effect and its understanding described by this equation like pulse broadening, spectral broadening (SPM, FWM, optical wave breaking), soliton effects, stimulated Raman scattering, supercontinuum generation, pulse amplification and pulse compression. Additionally, the fundamentals to numerically solve the equations are described. In a second part, the laser rate equations that can be applied to active fiber amplifier systems are discussed. Relevant effects that can be studied with the combination of the rate equation and nonlinear Schrödinger equation are introduces, for example, saturation of fiber amplifiers, broadband amplification, ASE background and noise and pump conditions. Furthermore, inelastic scattering processes of Brillouin and Raman scattering are considered. Finally, system designs, for instance short pulse fiber oscillators, are considered, where different fiber optical elements affect the output.
Benefits and Learning Objectives
This course should enable you to:

  • describe  the basics of the nonlinear Schrödinger Equation and laser rate equations
  • compute and discuss the numerical solution to these equations, like the Split-Step Method
  • determine numerical stability issues
  • design fiber optics setups regarding nonlinear effects

Examples discussed in the Course:

  • short pulse generation
  • nonlinear pulse interaction
  • fiber amplifers (e.g. parabolic pulse amplification)
  • femtosecond fiber oscillators
  • regenerative amplifiers
  • CW laser cavities (power distribution, ASE, inversion etc.)
  • realistic fiber amplifiers using rate equation gain and nonlinear pulse propagation
  • perform estimations of fibers required to specific applications 

Intended Audience 
This course would be useful to anyone working with fibers and is interested in understanding and predicting laboratory results.

Instructor Biography
Thomas Schreiber was born in Gera, Germany, on September 24, 1976. He received the Diploma degree in general physics from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany), in 2001. After finishing his Ph.D. work in 2006 at the Laser Development Group, Institute of Applied Physics, Friedrich-Schiller-University he is leading the fiber laser group within the department of precision engineering at the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, Jena. His research work includes novel optical properties of photonic crystal fibers and its applications in fiber lasers and amplifiers as well as modelling of ultrashort pulse propagation. During his Ph.D. he worked in the field of fluorescence lifetime imaging as a biology application of laser physics with Prof. P. French at Imperial College, London, U.K., in 2003.

SC290 High-power Fiber Lasers and Amplifiers (ASSL)
Johan Nilsson, Optoelectronics Research Ctr., Univ. of Southampton, UK
Sunday, 27 October 2013, 16:00-19:00

Course Level: Advanced Beginner (basic understanding of topic is necessary to follow course material)

Course Description: This course describes the principles and capabilities of high power fiber lasers and amplifiers, with output powers that can exceed a kilowatt. It describes the fundamentals of such devices and discusses current state of the art and research directions of this rapidly advancing field. Fiber technology, pump laser requirements and input coupling will be addressed. Rare-earth-doped fiber devices are the focus of the course, but Raman lasers and amplifiers will be considered, too, if time allows. This includes Yb-doped fibers at 1.0 - 1.1 μm, Er-doped fibers at 1.5 - 1.6 μm, and Tm-doped fibers at around 2 μm. Operating regimes extending from continuous-wave single-frequency to short pulses will be considered. Key equations will be introduced to find limits and identify critical parameters. For example, pump brightness is a critical parameter for some devices in some regimes but not always. Important limitations relate to nonlinear and thermal effects, as well as damage, energy storage and, of course, materials. Methods to mitigate limitations in different operating regimes will be discussed. Fiber, laser and amplifiers designs for different operating regimes will be described.

Benefits and Learning Objectives
After completion of this short course the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the fundamentals of high power fiber lasers and amplifiers.
  • List key strengths, relative merits, and specific capabilities of high power fiber lasers and amplifiers.
  • Assess performance limitations and describe the underlying physical reasons in different operating regimes.
  • Design or specify basic fiber properties for specific operating regimes.
  • Describe the possibilities, limitations, and implications of current technology regarding core size and rare earth concentration of doped fibers.
  • Discuss different options for suppressing detrimental nonlinearities.
  • Design basic high power fiber lasers and amplifier systems.
  • List strengths and weaknesses of different pumping schemes.

Intended Audience: This course is intended for scientists and engineers involved or interested in commercial and military high power fiber systems. This includes system designers, laser designers, fiber fabricators, and users. A basic knowledge of fibers and lasers is needed.

Biography: Johan Nilsson is a professor in the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), University of Southampton, England. He received a doctorate in engineering sciences from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, in 1994, for research on optical amplification. Since then, he has worked on optical amplifiers and amplified lightwave systems, optical communications, guided-wave lasers and nonlinear optics, first at Samsung Electronics and now at the ORC, where he is leading a research group in the field of high-power fiber devices and applications. His research has primarily focused on devices but has also covered system, fabrication and materials aspects. He has given courses on high-power fiber sources at conferences such as Photonics West, ASSP, and OFC.


SC337 Single Photon Detection with Avalanche Photodiode (LS&C)

Mark Itzler, Princeton Lightwave Inc., USA
Sunday, 27 October 2013, 16:00-19:00

Course Description: The ability to detect a single photon is the ultimate level of sensitivity in the measurement of optical radiation.  There has been growing interest in single photon detectors in response to emerging applications for which single photon counting is an enabling capability. In many cases, these applications involve physical processes in which only a very small number of photons -- often just one -- are available for detection.  In other instances, it is the quantum properties of a single photon that are exploited, and these applications are critically dependent on the means for sensing individual photons.  This course will provide an overview of single photon detector technologies along with a summary of relevant applications.  In addition to surveying various single photon detector technologies, the course material will provide an in-depth focus on avalanche photodiodes since these detectors are often the most practical solution -- from perspectives including performance, ease-of-use, cost, and commercial availability -- for single photon detection.  The presentation of design considerations and performance attributes should be useful to end users of this detector technology as well as to those who desire a qualitative understanding of the principles of single photon avalanche photodiode design.  Ancillary operational considerations such as required support electronics will also be covered.  The course will conclude with an assessment of future prospects for single photon detector technologies.

Benefits and Learning Objectives
After completion of this short course the participant will be able to:

  • Identify a variety of applications that rely on single photon counting

  • Compare different single photon detection technologies and choose the most appropriate detector for a given application

  • Manage tradeoffs in single photon detector performance parameters to define optimized operating conditions

  • Describe the fundamental design principles of single photon avalanche photodiodes

  • Summarize different options for the support electronics -- especially quenching circuitry -- involved in the operation of single photon avalanche photodiodes

  • Evaluate the state-of-the-art and future directions in single photon detection

Intended Audience: This course is intended for engineers and scientists who wish to understand the basics of single photon detection.  The presentation of detector design considerations and performance attributes should be useful to potential end users of single photon detector technologies as well as to those who desire a qualitative understanding of the principles of single photon avalanche photodiode design.  Some familiarity with the basics of semiconductor photodetectors will be helpful but is not essential.

Instructor Biography: Dr. Mark A. Itzler is CEO & CTO at Princeton Lightwave, Inc.  Prior to joining PLI in 2003, he was the CTO at the Epitaxx Division of JDS Uniphase.  He has been active in the design and commercialization of avalanche photodiode technology since 1996 and has focused on its application to single photon counting for the past nine years.  Dr. Itzler currently chairs the Conference on Advanced Photon Counting Techniques at the SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing Symposium and is a past Chair of the IEEE Photonics Society Technical Committee on Photodetectors and Imaging.  He is also an Associate Editor of IEEE Photonics Technology Letters and a Fellow of the IEEE.


SC407 High Harmonic Generation and Attosecond Pulses (ASSL)

Eric Constant, CELIA, France
Sunday, 27 October 2013, 16:00-19:00
Course Level:  Advanced beginner

Course Description: High order harmonic generation (HHG) is currently receiving lot of interest as this laser-like XUV source has many attractive properties such as large spectral extend, short pulse duration down to the attosecond level (1 as = 10-18 s) , good spatial coherence and automatic synchronization with ultrashort visible/IR pulses. During this course, I will present the main characteristics of the high order harmonic generation in gases and the underlying physical mechanisms both at the microscopic level (involving intense laser- atom interaction) and macroscopic level (where the coherent buildup of the emission defines the XUV beam characteristics). I will relate this XUV pulse generation with the necessary characteristics of the ultrashort laser systems that can be used for HHG and show that these characteristics can now be fulfilled by various laser architectures. I will also present the techniques that are used to characterize the ultrashort XUV pulses both in the spectral and temporal domains.  In a second part of the course, I will focus on the temporal characteristics of the high order harmonic beam and show how attosecond pulses can be generated and controlled through HHG. This part will include a brief overview of femtosecond pulse post compression and carrier envelop phase stabilization that are commonly used  in our community.  This course will also be illustrated with applications of HHG and attosecond pulses.

Benefit and Learning Objectives: This course will enable participants to understand the characteristics and properties of ultrashort XUV sources based on high order harmonic generation and to learn how these sources can be generated, controlled and used experimentally.

This course should enable participates to: 

  • Define the general properties of the XUV harmonic sources
  • Explain how the characteristics of the fundamental laser pulse impacts the harmonics
  • Identify what kind of laser can be used for HHG
  • Demonstrate the way in which strong field matter interaction can be modeled semi-classically
  • Discuss the way light induced particles can be detected under vacuum
  • Describe pulse post compression and how it can circumvent the gain bandwith limitation of laser media
  • Explain how the carrier envelop phase of a short pulse can be controlled
  • Discuss how attosecond pulses can be generated, controlled and used 

Intended Audience: This course is intended to students, scientist and engineers who wants to gets familiar with ultrashort XUV sources generated with intense femtosecond laser or who wants to discover attoscience. Familiarity with ultrashort laser pulses is preferred but basic knowledge accessible to beginner will be provided. Both scientific and technology constraints will be addressed.

Instructor Biography: Eric Constant is currently working at CELIA (Centre Laser Intenses et Applications) of the University of Bordeaux where he is heading a group on XUV sources and Attophysics. He is research director CNRS and has published over 140 publications and proceedings and his work has been cited over 2000 times. He has been working on high order harmonic generation and attosecond pulses generation and characterization for 20 years. Eric Constant has collaborated with most of the pioneers of this field and he has developed several experimental facilities related to attoscience and high harmonic generation.