Favorite Publications, Q1+Q2+Q3 2020

Well… what a strange year 2020 has been so far. But, science publication is still going on, with many publishers not only continuing to work at full speed despite the workforce being largely at home, but some even working more to deal with the increase in submitted papers.

My favorite photonics and plasma physics publications so far in 2020 are below. There is definitely bias intended, as always, so this isn’t an authoritative list on the “best” of this year, just my favorite.

First my publications, of which one was finally published from my PhD times (a great result!) and four are from my PostDoc at CEA-Saclay:

7 February, Optics Express
Controlling the velocity of a femtosecond laser pulse using refractive lenses

We demonstrated the “flying focus” using a simple lens doublet made of exotic glasses.

9 March, Journal of the Optical of America B
Multipass cells: 1D numerical model and investigation of spatio-spectral couplings at high nonlinearity

A team at IOGS in Palaiseau compared models for multipass cell compressors (a hot topic in ultrafast optics). We did a complimentary measurement to show that the output did not have strong spatio-temporal couplings.

6 July, Optics Letters
On the importance of frequency-dependent beam parameters for vacuum acceleration with few-cycle radially polarized laser beams

I simulated the effects of the chromatic nature of diffraction on direct acceleration of electrons in vacuum with radial polarization. The effects are quite significant and therefore this must be taken in to account in the future.

18 August, Physical Review X
Decoding Sources of Energy Variability in a Laser-Plasma Accelerator

A very beautiful result from our team at Hamburg (during my PhD). We operated a laser-plasma accelerator for more than 24 hours and showed that a lot can be learned from a small set of measured parameters.

end-September, Journal of Optics
Spatio-temporal characterization of ultrashort laser beams: a tutorial

We made a very thorough review and tutorial of spatio-temporal couplings in ultrashort laser pulses and how to measure them. We hope it becomes a useful resource for scientists going forward.

And papers from across the world:

31 March, Physical Review Letters
Dephasingless Laser Wakefield Acceleration

An interesting contribution to the goal to overcome intrinsic limits on laser-wakefield acceleration.

8 April, Physical Review Accelerators and Beams
Machine learning for orders of magnitude speedup in multiobjective optimization of particle accelerator systems
9 April, Physical Review Accelerators and Beams
Temporal power reconstruction for an x-ray free-electron laser using convolutional neural networks

Machine learning, neural networks, particle accelerators, and FELs. This pair of papers is sweet.

3 June, Nature
Controlling free electrons with optical whispering-gallery modes
Coherent interaction between free electrons and a photonic cavity

This pair of papers in Nature made a splash in the community and are both very advanced and creative studies of the interaction of exotic ultrashort laser fields and free electrons.

9 June, Reviews of Modern Physics
Strong-field nano-optics

The most interesting, beast of an article in RMP this year. Very interesting combination of strong field physics and nanophotonics.

11 June, Physical Review Accelerators and Beams
Spectrotemporal control of soft x-ray laser pulses

Nice detailed study of the world-class and unique tunability of the FERMI FEL in Trieste.

22 June, Nature Photonics
Anomalous refraction of optical spacetime wave packets

The team from UCF keeps putting out very strange and surprising phenomenon from their STC wavepackets. This time it is diffraction that does not obey Snell’s law.

6 July, Nature Photonics
Phase-locked laser-wakefield electron acceleration

Spatio-temporal couplings and optimized laser-wakefield acceleration. What is not to love! Second paper this year to propose a solution, and once I get the time it will be very interesting to compare them in detail.

18 July, Nature Communications
Towards integrated tunable all-silicon free-electron light sources

This is a very curious work for me. I am very in to “light sources” and this was a new form of light source summarized and advanced in a very readable way. I want to look at the old derivations of Smith-Purcell radiation!

31 July, Reviews of Modern Physics
The physics of climate variability and climate change

I actually only saw this paper just now, but it is immediately on my stack of “not crucial, but I want to read” papers. We’ll see when I get to it, but in any case it is a very necessary and cool niche – climate science for physicists.

11 August, Advanced Science
The Complex Charge Paradigm: A New Approach for Designing Electromagnetic Wavepackets

Any paper that has “paradigm” in the title has to be interesting. Besides being an interesting way to compute propagating electromagnetic waves, this paper is a great perspective on exotic electromagnetics with a great reference list.

31 August, Communications Physics
Complete spatiotemporal and polarization characterization of ultrafast vector beams

The first demonstration of spatio-temporal and polarization characterization of an ultrashort pulse. It is sure to open up a new field a spawn even more complex and complete measurement devices. A great work.

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One Response to Favorite Publications, Q1+Q2+Q3 2020

  1. spencerjolly says:

    And late-entries from Sep 14th:

    Demonstration of stable long-term operation of a kilohertz laser-plasma accelerator

    Tunable free-electron X-ray radiation from van der Waals materials

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