The invention of optical lasers led to a revolution in the field of optics and to the creation of such fields of research as quantum optics. The reason was their unique statistical and coherence properties. The emerging, short-wavelength free-electron lasers (FELs) are sources of very bright coherent extreme-ultraviolet and X-ray radiation with pulse durations on the order of femtoseconds, and are presently considered to be laser sources at these energies. FELs are highly spatially coherent to the first-order but in spite of their name, behave statistically as chaotic sources. Here, we demonstrate experimentally, by combining Hanbury Brown and Twiss interferometry with spectral measurements that the seeded XUV FERMI FEL-2 source does indeed behave statistically as a laser. The results may be useful for quantum optics experiments and for the design and operation of next generation FEL sources.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)