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The non-crystallographic phase problem arises in numerous scientific and technological fields. An important application is coherent diffractive imaging. Recent advances in X-ray free-electron lasers allow capturing of the diffraction pattern from a single nanoparticle before it disintegrates, in so-called 'diffraction before destruction' experiments.(More)
We demonstrate, theoretically and experimentally, nonbroadening optical beams propagating along any arbitrarily chosen convex trajectory in space. We present a general method to construct such beams, and demonstrate it by generating beams following polynomial and exponential trajectories. We find that all such beams, accelerating along any convex(More)
Reconstruction of signals from measurements of their spectral intensities, also known as the phase retrieval problem, is of fundamental importance in many scientific fields. In this paper we present a novel framework, denoted as vectorial phase retrieval, for reconstruction of pairs of signals from spectral intensity measurements of the two signals and of(More)
The waveforms of attosecond pulses produced by high-harmonic generation carry information on the electronic structure and dynamics in atomic and molecular systems. Current methods for the temporal characterization of such pulses have limited sensitivity and impose significant experimental complexity. We propose a new linear and all-optical method inspired(More)
We study high-order harmonic generation in aligned molecules close to the ionization threshold. Two distinct contributions to the harmonic signal are observed, which show very different responses to molecular alignment and ellipticity of the driving field. We perform a classical electron trajectory analysis, taking into account the significant influence of(More)
Phase measurement is a long-standing challenge in a wide range of applications, from X-ray imaging to astrophysics and spectroscopy. While in some scenarios the phase is resolved by an interferometric measurement, in others it is reconstructed via numerical optimization, based on some a-priori knowledge about the signal. The latter commonly use iterative(More)
Thermodynamics places a limit on the efficiency of heat engines, but not on their output power or on how the power and efficiency change with the engine's cycle time. In this Letter, we develop a geometrical description of the power and efficiency as a function of the cycle time, applicable to an important class of heat engine models. This geometrical(More)
Ultrafast science is inherently, due to the lack of fast enough detectors and electronics, based on nonlinear interactions. Typically, however, nonlinear measurements require significant powers and often operate in a limited spectral range. Here we overcome the difficulties of ultraweak ultrafast measurements by precision time-domain localization of(More)
Under certain conditions, it takes a shorter time to cool a hot system than to cool the same system initiated at a lower temperature. This phenomenon-the "Mpemba effect"-was first observed in water and has recently been reported in other systems. Whereas several detail-dependent explanations were suggested for some of these observations, no common(More)
We experimentally demonstrate first-order (fold) and second-order (cusp) catastrophes in the density of an atomic cloud reflected from an optical barrier in the presence of gravity and show their corresponding universal asymptotic behavior. These catastrophes, arising from classical dynamics, enable robust, field-free refocusing of an expanding atomic cloud(More)