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Bandwidth-limited pulse

A bandwidth-limited pulse (also known as Fourier-transform-limited pulse, or more commonly, transform-limited pulse) is a pulse of a wave that has the minimum possible duration for a given spectral bandwidth. Optical pulses of this type can be generated by modelocked lasers. Bandwidth-limited pulses have a constant phase across all frequencies making up the pulse.

Any waveform can be disassembled into its spectral components by Fourier analysis or Fourier transformation. The length of a pulse thereby is determined by its complex spectral components, which include not just their relative intensities, but also the relative positions (spectral phase) of these spectral components.

A bandwidth-limited pulse can only be kept together if the dispersion of the medium the wave is travelling through is zero; otherwise dispersion management is needed to revert the effects of unwanted spectral phase changes.

Keeping pulses bandwidth-limited is necessary to compress information in time or to achieve high field densities, as with ultrashort pulses in modelocked lasers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bandwidth-limited_pulse". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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