Note: Quicktime must be installed to view this video.

By using an ultrashort laser pulse as the flash of a camera, snapshots of rapid events can be captured with time resolution limited only by the pulse width of the laser. This technique, known as ultrafast microscopy, is being used to investigate femtosecond laser ablation of a variety of materials. The analysis of the collected images allow the pressure and energy release associated with femtosecond laser ablation to be calculated.