Since their inception, about 20 years ago, hollow-core photonic crystal fiber and its gas-filled form are now establishing themselves both as a platform in advancing our knowledge on how light is confined and guided in microstructured dielectric optical waveguides, and a remarkable enabler in a large and diverse range of fields. The latter spans from nonlinear and coherent optics, atom optics and laser metrology, quantum information to high optical field physics and plasma physics. Here, we give a historical account of the major seminal works, we review the physics principles underlying the different optical guidance mechanisms that have emerged and how they have been used as design tools to set the current state-of-the-art in the transmission performance of such fibers. In a second part of this review, we give a nonexhaustive, yet representative, list of the different applications where gas-filled hollow-core photonic crystal fiber played a transformative role, and how the achieved results are leading to the emergence of a new field, which could be coined “Gas photonics”. We particularly stress on the synergetic interplay between glass, gas, and light in founding this new fiber science and technology.
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