Applications of High-Field and Short Wavelength Sources

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The Optical Society of America Conference on Applications of High Fields and Short Wavelength Sources, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, from March 20-22, 1997, was an exceptionally exciting conference. This conference was the seventh in a series of topical con- ferences, held every two years, which are devoted to the generation and application of high field and short wavelength sources. The meeting was truly international in scope, with equal participation from both within and outside of the US. In the past two years, there has been dramatic progress in both laser and x-ray coher- ent sources, both fundamental and applied. The 1997 meeting highlighted these advances, which are summarized in sections 1 and 2 of this volume. Terawatt-class lasers are now avail- able in the UV or at high repetition rates. Michael Perry (LLNL) presented a keynote talk on petawatt class lasers and their applications in inertial confinement fusion, while Jorge Rocca (Colorado State University) presented a keynote talk on tabletop soft-x-ray lasers. Genera- tion and measurement techniques are becoming very sophisticated throughout the UV and x- ray region of the spectrum, and coherent sources have been extended to wavelengths below 30A. Phase control in the x-ray region is also now possible, and new phase-matching schemes in the UV have been experimentally demonstrated. It is clear that a new field of x-ray nonlin- ear optics will deveiop rapidly over the next few years.