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Homework Help: Compute spectral width

  1. Sep 16, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    In 1985, the record for the shortest event ever created was a laser
    pulse about 10 femtoseconds (10‐14 s) long, but recently scientists
    have generated pulses of light 100 attoseconds (10‐16 s) long. Compute
    the minimum spectral widths of these pulses. The actual
    pulse frequency must be larger than its spectral width, so what is
    the minimum light frequency that must be used in order to generate
    such short pulses? What wavelengths and spectral regions
    (that is, gamma ray, x‐ray, UV, visible, IR, microwave, or radio) do
    these frequencies correspond to? What spectral region should researchers
    look to in order to generate even shorter pulses?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    So, my professor did not teach this at all and he's not teaching out of a book, so I have literally no idea how to solve this. I've googled spectral width, but didn't find anything helpful. The closest thing to a hint I have is a cryptic note on his powerpoint slide that says "Pulse Width" which sounds well and good, until you see that it's a Fourier Transform and you don't have a function that I can see.
    Please help!
  2. jcsd
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