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Stretch and compress
A technician inspects one of eight recently fabricated HELD gratings to be installed in the L4-ATON laser system’s 18-meter-long, 55-ton compressor. In CPA, an ultrashort laser pulse is amplified to the petawatt level, with the laser pulse being stretched out temporally and spectrally, then amplified and then compressed again. Gratings provide that stretching and compression, but are susceptible to damage from redirecting petawatt-scale pulses. Image: LLNL.
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