IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society


January 13, 2011
7 PM

MIT Lincoln Laboratory

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Frequency Combs: From the Laboratory to the Mountain Slides

Mr. Andrew J. Benedick, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Mr. Andrew J. Benedick, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Abstract:  Frequency combs are the electromagnetic gearbox for shifting a high precision reference signal from a convenient generation frequency to the frequency where it can be most easily used.  Mode-locked lasers are the foundation on which frequency combs are built as they provide the optical spectrum necessary for this type of signal transfer.  Frequency combs based on broadband mode locked Ti:Sapphire lasers can have optical bandwidths in excess of 100 nm and more than a microwatt in each combline facilitating the transfer process. In this presentation I will review construction of an octave spanning Ti:Sapphire based frequency comb which uses a methane stabilized helium neon laser to generate a broadband optical reference with demonstrated frequency stability of 3x10^-14.  In addition, I will present a frequency comb optimized for calibration of astronomical spectrographs with the goal of extra-solar planet detection which is a new and exciting frequency comb application.


Biography:  Andrew Benedick received a B.S. from Northeastern University in 2001 in mechanical engineering technology.  For three years he worked as an engineer in the power generation industry. In 2006 he received an M.S. in applied physics from the University of Massachusetts in Boston.  This work led him to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he is currently completing his PhD work on mode locked lasers and frequency comb systems.  Andrew has authored two refereed journal publications and is co-author of more than 20 other journal and conference submissions.


Location:  MIT Lincoln Laboratory