Single picosecond light pulses from a mode-locked Nd:glass laser are investigated by several methods. Their temporal structure is studied by two-photon fluorescence. The frequency spectra are measured quantitatively. The energy distribution is simultaneously investigated by three-photon fluorescence, photoelectric measurements, and quantitative studies of the contrast ratio of the two-photon fluorescence. The pulse shape is measured using a method based on the stimulated Raman effect. It is observed that the pulses are weakly asymmetric-the pulse decay is slower (exponential) than the pulse rise (Gaussian). Bandwidth-limited pulses of 4-8 ps are present in the leading part of the pulse train. Substantial frequency broadening develops as the pulse train reaches its maximum and a subpicosecond structure is formed in the trailing part of the pulse train.