(c) Dr Paul Kinsler. [Acknowledgements & Feedback]

Logo (c) Paul Kinsler
Imperial College, London 2001-

Funding: EPSRC

Few Cycle Optical Pulses

After Delft, I was offered my current postdoc in the Department of Physics at Imperial College, where I work with Prof Geoff New.

[research description under construction].

So far I have managed to resurrect some of my old documents, submitting two preprints to arXive.org, work which I do not have the time to make both fully publishable and be able to respond to referees. These are the "Quantum stochastic theory of phonon scattering between polaritons" and "Limits to phase information in the parametric oscillator". Since I was never likely to get around to getting them published in journals, I think that at least as electronic preprints others may see them and find them of some use. [re other pol papers, JBbg] I have also polished up some of my calculation documents, and made them available from my web pages. It is rare that fully detailed calculations are available to examine, mainly because of the traditional constraints of space in paper journals and texts. However, because for some time I have kept my calculations as latex files, is is easy for me to make them public, and hope that they will be useful to others.

Indeed I now see a new future for scientific publishing. It has long been advantageous for both scientists and publishers to accept the constraints of paper publishing. Now electronic publishing is changing science publishing in that now multimedia articles can now be written. I can publish a paper or article, and include full details of any calculation, computer code, or result files. However, that is not the real future as I see it. What we need it something rather like the Open Source movement does with computer program code. If I have a document, I can make ongoing corrections as comments are made, whilst still using a tool like RCS to keep older versions available with a minimum of effort. Indeed, this is what I now do. If I were to then release it under something like the GNU document license ( GNU FDL, OPL, DSL ), other people could revise it if I was unwilling or unable to do so, of even "fork" the document to revise it according to their taste. Such a thing would be ideal for text books or review articles. If I write a text book and sell it to a publisher I, and the readership, am entirely at that publishers mercy as regards the timing and scope of revised editions. If I was to leave physics and become a landscape gardener, or even something merely well paid, the text would just die and become rapidly out of date, even if there was someone keen to maintain it. With a text that was GNU document licensed, the would never happen as long as there was one person willing to keep the text useful and current. Rather than have publishers control scientific texts and other materials, the scientific community can control them, keep them updated and current, all without writers having to rewrite an optics text (or whatever) from scratch every time they think some perspective or set of results is missing from the literature. This is easy, or course, the real challenge is in working out how to manage and contain the sprawling mess that such a public-text might easily become.

A wiki? Well, nowadays we have wikis, but not when I wrote that.

After doing research on ultrafast optical pulse propagation, which I still haven't got around to summarizing, Geoff New retired and I moved research groups to work on metamaterials.

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Date=20080916 16 20020106 20010622 Author=P.Kinsler Created=2001