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Relativistic ionization dynamics for a hydrogen atom exposed to superintense XUV laser pulses
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics.
Number of Authors: 3
2017 (English)In: Physical Review A: covering atomic, molecular, and optical physics and quantum information, ISSN 2469-9926, E-ISSN 2469-9934, Vol. 95, no 4, 043403Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present a theoretical study of the ionization dynamics of a hydrogen atom exposed to attosecond laser pulses in the extreme ultraviolet region at very high intensities. The pulses are such that the electron is expected to reach relativistic velocities, thus necessitating a fully relativistic treatment. We solve the time-dependent Dirac equation and compare its predictions with those of the corresponding nonrelativistic Schrodinger equation. We find that as the electron is expected to reach about 20% of the speed of light, relativistic corrections introduce a finite yet small decrease in the probability of ionizing the atom.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 95, no 4, 043403
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Theoretical Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-143604DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.95.043403ISI: 000399378500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-143604DiVA: diva2:1104007
Available from: 2017-05-31 Created: 2017-05-31 Last updated: 2017-10-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Relativistic light-matter interaction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Relativistic light-matter interaction
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the past decades, the development of laser technology has produced pulses with increasingly higher peak intensities. These can now be made such that their strength rivals, and even exceeds, the atomic potential at the typical distance of an electron from the nucleus. To understand the induced dynamics, one can not rely on perturbative methods and must instead try to get as close to the full machinery of quantum mechanics as practically possible. With increasing field strength, many exotic interactions such as magnetic, relativistic and higher order electric effects may start to play a significant role. To keep a problem tractable, only those effects that play a non-negligible role should be accounted for. In order to do this, a clear notion of their relative importance as a function of the pulse properties is needed. 

In this thesis I study the interaction between atomic hydrogen and super-intense laser pulses, with the specific aim to contribute to the knowledge of the relative importance of different effects. I solve the time-dependent Schrödinger and Dirac equations, and compare the results to reveal relativistic effects. High order electromagnetic multipole effects are accounted for by including spatial variation in the laser pulse.

The interaction is first described using minimal coupling. The spatial part of the pulse is accounted for by a series expansion of the vector potential and convergence with respect to the number of expansion terms is carefully checked. A significantly higher demand on the spatial description is found in the relativistic case, and its origin is explained. As a response to this demanding convergence behavior, an alternative interaction form for the relativistic case has been developed and presented.

As a guide mark for relativistic effects, I use the classical concept of quiver velocity, vquiv, which is the peak velocity of a free electron in the polarization direction of a monochromatic electromagnetic plane wave that interacts with the electron. Relativistic effects are expected when vquiv reaches a substantial fraction of the speed of light c, and in this thesis I consider cases up to vquiv=0.19c. For the present cases, relativistic effects are found to emerge around vquiv=0.16c .

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physics, Stockholm University, 2017. 70 p.
Keyword
Time-dependent Dirac equation, Beyond dipole effects, Relativistic effects, High-Intensity laser-matter interaction
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Research subject
Theoretical Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147749 (URN)978-91-7797-008-8 (ISBN)978-91-7797-009-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-11-24, sal FB42, AlbaNova Universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-10-31 Created: 2017-10-11 Last updated: 2017-11-01Bibliographically approved

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