This year's Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to an international team of researchers who investigated new effects caused by the interaction of laser light with atoms in a gas. These effects can be used to generate extremely short light pulses. So-called attosecond light pulses open up exciting possibilities in basic research. They can be used to observe very fast movements of electrons and control chemical reactions, for example. Light pulses like these open up unimaginable new avenues for light-based information processing systems. All these exciting findings would not exist without quartz glass. Quartz glass is used in the manufacture of laser optics due to its excellent optical and thermal properties. Modern technologies and measurement techniques, from microscopy to material processing, would not be possible without advanced laser optics. Therefore, advances in laser optics and the associated Nobel Prize wins can also be attributed to the important role of fused silica in this field.

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