One of the first coherent, tutorial graduate level text/reference books on ultrashort laser phenomena, this book presents an introduction to the phenomena and explains how it can be used to help examine problems in areas such as electromagnetism, optics, and quantum mechanics. Written for students as well as experimental researchers in physics, engineering, biology, or chemistry, the text provides the necessary background and tools to design experiments involving ultrashort pulses. All aspects of design are covered: from the construction of the source, to the amplifier, to the diagnostic method, and finally, to the design of the experiment in any field. The text reviews the basic properties of light propagation through matter and provides a study of simple optical components with emphasis on the important phenomena that occur with pulses of duration less than 10-12s (or less than 0.3 mm in length). The reader is also provided with the fundamental concepts (as well as numerical data through numerous tables), necessary to design optical systems capable of manipulating such pulses. Beyond the simple optical system, the various types of sources of ultrashort pulses are presented, again with emphasis on the basic concepts and how they apply to the design of particular sources (dye lasers, solid state lasers, semiconductor lasers, fiber lasers, and sources based on frequency conversion). This book is addressed as much to the physicist as to the engineer, chemist, biologist, student, or experienced researcher interested in the application of ultrashort light pulses to the study of ultrafast event in this field.