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      Measuring laser carrier-envelope phase effects in the noble gases with an atomic hydrogen calibration standard

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          Abstract

          We present accurate measurements of carrier-envelope phase effects on ionisation of the noble gases with few-cycle laser pulses. The experimental apparatus is calibrated by using atomic hydrogen data to remove any systematic offsets and thereby obtain accurate CEP data on other generally used noble gases such as Ar, Kr and Xe. Experimental results for H are well supported by exact TDSE theoretical simulations however significant differences are observed in case of noble gases.

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          Tomographic imaging of molecular orbitals.

          Single-electron wavefunctions, or orbitals, are the mathematical constructs used to describe the multi-electron wavefunction of molecules. Because the highest-lying orbitals are responsible for chemical properties, they are of particular interest. To observe these orbitals change as bonds are formed and broken is to observe the essence of chemistry. Yet single orbitals are difficult to observe experimentally, and until now, this has been impossible on the timescale of chemical reactions. Here we demonstrate that the full three-dimensional structure of a single orbital can be imaged by a seemingly unlikely technique, using high harmonics generated from intense femtosecond laser pulses focused on aligned molecules. Applying this approach to a series of molecular alignments, we accomplish a tomographic reconstruction of the highest occupied molecular orbital of N2. The method also allows us to follow the attosecond dynamics of an electron wave packet.
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            Attosecond control of electronic processes by intense light fields.

            The amplitude and frequency of laser light can be routinely measured and controlled on a femtosecond (10(-15) s) timescale. However, in pulses comprising just a few wave cycles, the amplitude envelope and carrier frequency are not sufficient to characterize and control laser radiation, because evolution of the light field is also influenced by a shift of the carrier wave with respect to the pulse peak. This so-called carrier-envelope phase has been predicted and observed to affect strong-field phenomena, but random shot-to-shot shifts have prevented the reproducible guiding of atomic processes using the electric field of light. Here we report the generation of intense, few-cycle laser pulses with a stable carrier envelope phase that permit the triggering and steering of microscopic motion with an ultimate precision limited only by quantum mechanical uncertainty. Using these reproducible light waveforms, we create light-induced atomic currents in ionized matter; the motion of the electronic wave packets can be controlled on timescales shorter than 250 attoseconds (250 x 10(-18) s). This enables us to control the attosecond temporal structure of coherent soft X-ray emission produced by the atomic currents--these X-ray photons provide a sensitive and intuitive tool for determining the carrier-envelope phase.
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              Density-functional theory with optimized effective potential and self-interaction correction for ground states and autoionizing resonances

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                1601.02277

                Atomic & Molecular physics

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