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The astonishing progress of astronomy in recent years owes much of its success to the application of state-of-the-art photonic technologies. Part of my recent research activity has been focusing on the development of photonic applications for astronomy, which resulted in a cooperation with the European Southern Observatory for the development of a laser metrology system for the Vary Large Telescope Interferometer and the development of the Discrete Beam Combiner. [more]

Dynamics of laser-excited cold plasmas

laser-plasma filament

Tenuous plasmas excited in the wake of intense ultrashort pulses propagating dielectric media can induce short-lived local changes of the refractive index. [more]

Nonlinear dynamics in optics

Spatiotemporally localized waves have the natural tendency to disperse upon propagation. The nonlinear response of the medium can counteract this natural phenomenon giving birth to solitons, self-localized waves which behave like particles. [more]

Spatiotemporal imaging techniques

The understanding of the spatiotemporal dynamics of ultrashort events requires new diagnostic tools. Three-dimensional imaging of ultrashort pulses via spatially resolved optical gating can unveil the complex dynamics of femtosecond optical wavepackets propagating in nonlinear media. More insight in the light-matter interaction can be achieved by means of temporally resolved shadowgraphic methods. [more]