A more detailed schematic of the pulse shaping setup. An incoming pulse of light (left) diffracts off a grating, which disperses the pulse into its various frequencies, or colors. A parabolic mirror then redirects the dispersed light into a silicon surface etched with millions of tiny pillars. The nanopillars are specifically designed to simultaneously and independently shape such properties of each frequency component as its amplitude, phase or polarization. A second parabolic mirror and diffraction grating then recombines the separated components into a newly formed pulse (right).