To take advantage of the electron spin in future electronics, spin angular momentum needs to be transported and detected. Electric fields and temperature gradients have been shown to efficiently drive spin transport at megahertz and gigahertz frequencies. However, to probe the initial elementary steps that lead to the formation of spin currents, we need to launch and measure transport on much faster, that is, on femtosecond time scales. This goal is achieved by employing ultrashort optical and terahertz electromagnetic pulses in conjunction with spin-orbit coupling. We obtain new insights into important spintronic phenomena such as spin-caloric transport , spin-to-charge-current conversion  and anisotropic magnetoresistance . Interesting photonic applications such as the generation of ultrashort terahertz electromagnetic pulses also emerge .
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