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Atomic Physics

Faculty of Engineering, LTH

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Attosecond Physics

Generation of high-order harmonics in a small cell of rare gas (here argon). The laser creates a plasma which emits the white light.

We are performing basic research in a very exciting field at the border between atomic and molecular physics and advanced optics, nonlinear optics and laser physics: high-order harmonic generation in gaseous media exposed to intense laser fields and its applications. The harmonic spectrum exhibits an extended "plateau" where consecutive (odd) harmonics have approximately the same intensity. If the harmonics are emitted in phase, i.e. phase-locked, the temporal structure of the radiation emitted from the medium consists of a “train” of attosecond pulses separated by half the laser period.

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Research Highlight

One faster than the other!

We study photoionization of argon atoms using a train of attosecond pulses and measure the time between electrons emitted from different subshells. We demonstrate how the infrared laser field used to probe the emitted electrons influences the measured delays and show that this contribution can be estimated with a universal formula, which allows us to extract field free atomic data.

Article on arXiv (accepted for publication in Phys. Rev. Lett.)